This is a New Year's Eve plan for history buffs. (Which, in D.C., we expect is most of us.)
On Jan. 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.
"I never, in my life, felt more certain that I was doing right than I do in signing this paper," Lincoln reportedly said, just before signing the proclamation that New Year's Day.
One-hundred-fifty years later, you'll be able to have a rare viewing of the original document, in which Lincoln declared all slaves in states that were "in rebellion against the United States" to be freed -- though parts of Virginia and Louisiana, all of Tennessee were exempted, as were Union states, like Maryland, which did not fully abolish slavery until 1864.
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The National Archives will be displaying the original Emancipation Proclamation from Dec. 30, 2012-Jan. 1, 2013.
See the document at the Archives' New Year's Eve event -- at 11:30 p.m., the Washington Revels Heritage Voices will perform. Then at midnight, the Archives will host a bell-ringing by a Harriet Tubman reenactor.
The Emancipation Proclamation will then be read out loud at 9 a.m. on Jan. 1. Later that day, the Archives will host Harriet Tubman again, plus Abraham Lincoln and Rosa Parks reenactors.
See the whole schedule of events here.
A Lincoln-signed copy of the Emancipation Proclamation was bought by David Rubenstein, managing director of The Carlyle Group, for $2.1 million earlier this year. The copy was one of 48 "authorized editions" that Lincoln signed in 1864, to be sold at the Philadelphia Great Central Sanitary Fair. Rubenstein's $2.1 million payment is the second-highest amount paid for a copy of the Emancipation Proclamation. In 2010, a copy once owned by Robert Kennedy sold for nearly $3.8 million.
Rubenstein's Emancipation Proclamation is on view in D.C. at Lincoln's Cottage -- the place where Lincoln wrote much of the document -- through the end of February.
The preliminary copy of the Emancipation Proclamation is owned by the New York State Library (read the interesting story of how the library acquired the document here). The final copy of the Emancipation Proclamation burned in 1871, a victim of the Great Chicago Fire.
And while you're engaging in Lincoln-related activities, check out some of the spots in Virginia where Lincoln the movie was filmed.
Daniel Day-Lewis in a scene from director Steven Spielberg's drama "Lincoln."
Christopher Brady, dressed as Abraham Lincoln, arrived on a Segway at the launching ceremony of the Lincoln Movie Trail at the State Capitol in Richmond, Va. Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012. With Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln" set for national release Friday, Virginia tourism officials are inviting fans of history and film to tour the locations where the epic movie was made. (AP Photo/Richmond Times-Dispatch, Bob Brown)
Steven Spielberg, Daniel Day-Lewis, Kathleen Kennedy, Sally Field, James Spader, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and celebrity guests all attended the World Premiere of "Lincoln". In addition to the stars and interviews there are scenes from the movie in this premiere newsreel.
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 14: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) (L-R) Actors James Spader, Gloria Reuben, Tommy Lee Jones, DreamWorks Co-Chairman/CEO Stacey Snider, actors Sally Field, Daniel Day-Lewis, director Steven Spielberg, producer Kathleen Kennedy, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin and actor Jeremy Strong attend the special screening of Steven Spielberg's 'Lincoln' at the Ziegfeld Theatre on November 14, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
Daniel Day-Lewis and director Steven Spielberg arrive at the "Lincoln" premiere at AFI Fest at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on Thursday November 8, 2012 in Hollywood, California.
This September 4, 2012 publicity file photo provided by DreamWorks and Twentieth Century Fox, shows actor, Daniel Day-Lewis, left, and director, Steven Spielberg, posing for a portrait in New York.
Cast and crew including actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, center, and director Steven Spielberg, seated, are pictured between takes on River Street in Petersburg, Va. Thursday, Dec. 15, 2011.
Cast and crew including actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt and director Steven Spielberg, seated, are pictured between takes on River Street in Petersburg, Va. Thursday, Dec. 15, 2011.
Daniel Day-Lewis, center, as President Abraham Lincoln, looks across a battlefield in the aftermath of a terrible siege in this scene from director Steven Spielberg's drama "Lincoln."
This photo provided by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Ill., shows a page of a newly revealed letter written by Abraham Lincolns son. Three letters written by Lincoln's wife, Mary Lincoln, and her son Robert were donated Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012, to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and will go on display after cleaning and other preparations. The museum is a center for Lincoln research, drawing scholars and even a visit by actor Daniel Day-Lewis as he studied for his portrayal of the 16th president in Steven Spielbergs historical epic Lincoln.
Watch a clip from the Steven Spielberg historical drama "Lincoln" starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Spader, Jared Harris, John Hawkes, and Jackie Earle Haley.
In this Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012 photo, Daniel Day-Lewis arrives at the "Lincoln" premiere at AFI Fest at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California.
This publicity photo released by DreamWorks and Twentieth Century Fox shows, Daniel Day-Lewis, center rear, as Abraham Lincoln, in a scene from the film, "Lincoln." Day-Lewis, who plays the 16th president in Steven Spielberg's epic film biography Lincoln, settled on a higher, softer voice, saying it's more true to descriptions of how the man actually spoke.
Daniel Day Lewis has signed on to play Abraham Lincoln in the upcoming film titled….you guessed it, Lincoln. The movie will be directed by none other than Steven Spielberg and will focus on the Civil War president. This film is four years in the making, but it looks like they are speeding right along as a photo surfaced of Daniel dressed as Abraham Lincoln. Daniel adds to the long list of celebs that have played U.S presidents. To refresh your memory, Tom Selleck played General Dwight
As members of the media, left, wait, Christopher Brady, dressed as Abraham Lincoln, arrives on a Segway at the launching ceremony of the Lincoln Movie Trail at the State Capitol in Richmond, Va. Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012. With Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln" set for national release Friday, Virginia tourism officials are inviting fans of history and film to tour the locations where the epic movie was made.
Read the whole Emancipation Proclamation here:
The Emancipation Proclamation
January 1, 1863
By the President of the United States of America:
Whereas, on the twenty-second day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two, a proclamation was issued by the President of the United States, containing, among other things, the following, to wit:
"That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom.
"That the Executive will, on the first day of January aforesaid, by proclamation, designate the States and parts of States, if any, in which the people thereof, respectively, shall then be in rebellion against the United States; and the fact that any State, or the people thereof, shall on that day be, in good faith, represented in the Congress of the United States by members chosen thereto at elections wherein a majority of the qualified voters of such State shall have participated, shall, in the absence of strong countervailing testimony, be deemed conclusive evidence that such State, and the people thereof, are not then in rebellion against the United States."
Now, therefore I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by virtue of the power in me vested as Commander-in-Chief, of the Army and Navy of the United States in time of actual armed rebellion against the authority and government of the United States, and as a fit and necessary war measure for suppressing said rebellion, do, on this first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and in accordance with my purpose so to do publicly proclaimed for the full period of one hundred days, from the day first above mentioned, order and designate as the States and parts of States wherein the people thereof respectively, are this day in rebellion against the United States, the following, to wit:
Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, (except the Parishes of St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Jefferson, St. John, St. Charles, St. James Ascension, Assumption, Terrebonne, Lafourche, St. Mary, St. Martin, and Orleans, including the City of New Orleans) Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, (except the forty-eight counties designated as West Virginia, and also the counties of Berkley, Accomac, Northampton, Elizabeth City, York, Princess Ann, and Norfolk, including the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth[)], and which excepted parts, are for the present, left precisely as if this proclamation were not issued.
And by virtue of the power, and for the purpose aforesaid, I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States, and parts of States, are, and henceforward shall be free; and that the Executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons.
And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to abstain from all violence, unless in necessary self-defence; and I recommend to them that, in all cases when allowed, they labor faithfully for reasonable wages.
And I further declare and make known, that such persons of suitable condition, will be received into the armed service of the United States to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places, and to man vessels of all sorts in said service.
And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution, upon military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind, and the gracious favor of Almighty God.
In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington, this first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the eighty-seventh.
By the President: ABRAHAM LINCOLN
WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.