December 2012 | Rebecca Rego Barry

Watch Nights at the National Archives

E-P.jpgOn Jan. 1, 1863, Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation took effect, formally ending slavery in the United States. To celebrate the 150th anniversary of this important national document, the National Archives is holding traditional "watch nights" at the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C. The official document, signed by Lincoln and bearing the U.S. seal, is briefly on exhibit, culminating tonight with late hours (closes at 1 a.m.) and tomorrow with a dramatic reading. What a way to ring in the New Year!

On January 3, the Library of Congress will put on display a draft of the document as part of its "The Civil War in America" exhibit.

Image courtesy of the National Archives.