Starting in the summer of 2011, the National Archives Discovering the Civil War Exhibition that premiered in Washington, D.C., went on a major, multi-city national tour starting with the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich.
Additional stops included the Houston Museum of Natural Science in Houston, Texas, and the Tennessee State Museum in Nashville, the only city in the Southeastern United States to have the privilege of hosting the document. The purpose of the exhibition is to honor the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.
On Jan. 1, 1863, Lincoln issued the final Emancipation Proclamation, which declared “that all persons held as slaves” within the rebel states “are, and henceforward shall be free.”
In the fall of 2012, teachers and schools had to enter a lottery for a chance to view the Emancipation Proclamation when it came to Nashville. The Advanced Placement United States History class at Lincoln County High School was one of the fortunate groups chosen to view the document.
“Coincidently, the date the AP U.S. History class was chosen was Feb. 12, which is Abraham Lincoln’s birthday,” said Thomas Hastings, instructor of the class at LCHS.
The AP U.S. History students from LCHS went to Nashville on Feb. 12, accompanied by their teacher. The students viewed the Emancipation Proclamation and then Civil War Exhibit at the Tennessee State Museum.
Afterwards, the students walked to the War Memorial and to the office of State Rep. Pat Marsh, said Hastings, noting that Marsh’s staff gave students a tour of the Tennessee Capitol and that the group also got to meet and visit with State Sen. Jim Tracy.
While downtown, the class ate lunch and then reboarded the bus and traveled to the Hermitage, home of President Andrew Jackson. The students toured the Hermitage and then returned to Lincoln County.
“Hopefully Feb. 12, 2013 will be a day these young scholars will remember for years to come,” said Hastings. “I feel the trip and experience was a fun and educational one. The trip was a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity for the students. I’m very proud of them.”