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Emancipation Proclamation
Viewing is now closed!
The viewing line for the Emancipation Proclamation has been closed due to the overwhelming response to see this document. Unfortunately, any additional visitors would not be able to view the document as the current view line wait is over 8 hours. Personnel from the National Archives (Washington D.C.) will remove the document promptly at 7:00AM Wednesday regardless of how many guests are in line at that time.

On loan from the National Archives, the original Emancipation Proclamation will be available for viewing in Henry Ford Museum for a limited time in June. Join us for this historic vigil.

It’s one of the landmarks of American history.  As divisive as it was courageous, Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, issued as the nation was consumed in an unthinkably violent civil war, declared that “all persons held as slaves within any State... shall be then, thenceforward and forever free."

The original document will only be available to the public for a limited time beginning the evening of Monday, June 20.  Following a short opening ceremony, the document will be on display around-the-clock, straight through early Wednesday morning, June 22, when it will return to Washington DC.

schedule of events
All Emancipation Proclamation programming will be held outside the Discovering the Civil War exhibit.
Monday, June 20, 2011
5:00 PM Regular daytime programming at Henry Ford Museum ends. All guests will be asked to exit.
6:00 PM Museum doors re-open
Opening ceremony
Welcoming remarks by Evan Weiner, chairman of the board, and Patricia Mooradian, president, of The Henry Ford; Detroit Mayor Dave Bing; and U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Damon Keith
6:50 PM Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit’s Mosaic Singers
Presented by Ford Motor Company Fund
7:00 PM Emancipation Proclamation public viewing begins
7:15 PM Proclamation reading by Patricia Mooradian, The Henry Ford
7:30 PM Jesse H. Bishop Crusaders A Cappella Choir
8:00 PM Proclamation reading by Carmen Harlan, WDIV-TV
8:05 PM Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church Choir
8:30 PM - Midnight Civil War films and documentaries

Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Midnight - 10:00 AM Civil War films and documentaries
10:00 AM Proclamation reading by Paula Tutman, WDIV-TV
11:00 AM Proclamation reading by Second Baptist Church of Detroit, Historical Committee
12:00 PM Proclamation reading by Kendall Hairston and Brittany Moore, Henry Ford Academy
12:05 PM BASIC Christian Singers
12:30 PM The Hamilton Family
1:00 PM Proclamation reading by Professor Marc W. Kruman, Wayne State University
2:00 PM Proclamation reading by Dr. Charles V. Willie, Harvard University
2:05 PM The Hamilton Family
3:00 PM Proclamation reading by George Shirley, University of Michigan
3:05 PM Detroit Youth Choir
3:30 PM The Hamilton Family
4:00 PM Robert and Bernice Jones
4:30 PM North Star Gospel Chorale
5:00 PM Proclamation reading by Craig Fahle, WDET-FM
5:05 PM Y-Arts Deep River Choir
5:30 PM Robert and Bernice Jones
6:00 PM Proclamation reading by Anthony Lucas, The Henry Ford
6:05 PM North Star Gospel Chorale
6:30 PM Yulanda Burgess: “Understanding Emancipation”
7:00 PM Robert and Bernice Jones
7:30 PM North Star Gospel Chorale
8:00 PM Proclamation reading by Gary Anderson, Plowshares Theatre
8:05 PM Second Ebenezer Youth Choir
8:30 PM Second Ebenezer Church Choir
9:00 PM Temple of Faith Baptist Church Choir
9:15 PM Ms. Hall’s Kids Youth Choir
9:30 PM Yulanda Burgess: “Understanding Emancipation”
10:00 PM - Midnight Civil War films and documentaries

PLEASE NOTE: Wednesday's schedule has been updated

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

7:00 AM

Document removed by National Archives
PLEASE NOTE: Viewing of the Emancipation Proclamation has now been closed. Current wait times are over 8 hours. Additional visitors would not have an opportunity to view the document. Personnel from the National Archives will remove the document promptly at 7:00 AM regardless of how many guests are in line at that time.

9:30 AM Henry Ford Museum re-opens for regular programming.


This event and Museum admission is free to the public from 6:00 PM June 20 through 6:00 AM June 22. *

* Regular Museum admission and a $5 parking fee applies to those who arrive prior  to closing, 5 PM on Monday, June 20 or after the viewing is over, early morning Wednesday, June 22.

the exhibition

The Emancipation Proclamation is brought to you as part of the Discovering the Civil War Exhibition in Henry Ford Museum, May 21 – September 5, 2011. For more information about the exhibition, click here.

For information about other ways to commemorate the Civil War Sesquicentennial at The Henry Ford, click here.

what to bring, what to wear

The exhibits of Henry Ford Museum are spread across several acres; all indoors. Comfortable clothing and comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Wheelchairs and electric scooters are available to rent for a fee a the IMAX and Clocktower entrances. Electric scooter supplies are limited, please arrive early if you plan to rent one. You are welcome to bring your own wheelchairs, electric scooters and children's strollers-- however, upright electric scooters (Segways) are not allowed on premises.

Bring a camera; photography is allowed in most areas of the Museum. Photography is NOT ALLOWED in the Discovering the Civil War Exhibition, nor when viewing the Emancipation Proclamation Document.

The Henry Ford is located in Dearborn, Michigan on the corner of Village Road and Oakwood Boulevard, just west of the Southfield Freeway (M-39) and south of Michigan Avenue (US-12).
The Henry Ford
20900 Oakwood Blvd.
Dearborn, MI 48124-5029
From the East or West via I-94:
Take I-94 to the Oakwood Boulevard exit; go north on Oakwood. The Henry Ford is 2.5 miles from the exit on the corner of Village Road and Oakwood Boulevard.
From the South via I-75:
Exit to northbound Southfield Freeway (M-39); drive 4.1 miles to Oakwood Boulevard (Exit 4). Left on Oakwood and drive 1.8 miles.
From the North via Southfield Road (or I-96):
Take Southfield Freeway (M-39) south 4.5 miles past I-96 and exit at Michigan avenue (Exit 6). Continue on the Southfield service drive (veer left) for .5 mile. At the first stoplight, turn right onto Village Road (through the iron gates) and drive .75 mile.
Metro Detroit often has major construction projects. Please check the following sites for the latest on construction areas and road closures.
Michigan Department of Transportation
AAA Traffic & Construction Report