NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The original Emancipation Proclamation is going on display in Nashville as the Civil War-era document that changed the lives of countless African-Americans makes its only stop in the Southeast on a 150th anniversary tour.
The exhibit opens Tuesday, the anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln's birthday, at the Tennessee State Museum. The proclamation will be viewed for just 72 hours over six days because exposure to light is harmful to the fragile document.
The stop is a rare visit to the South for the document Lincoln signed in 1863 declaring all slaves "forever free" in states rebelling then against the Union.
Bruce Bustard, senior curator at the National Archives where the document is kept, said Tennessee was a key battleground in the war.