Emancipation Proclamation’s 150th anniversary celebrated in October exhibit

The emancipation of American slaves and the ensuing march to a fuller freedom are depicted in a national traveling exhibition cosponsored by MTSU.

The Heritage Center of Murfreesboro and Rutherford County will host “Emancipation and Its Legacies” from Monday, Oct. 3, to Monday, Oct. 31. Hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Center, which is located at 225 W. College St. in Murfreesboro.

“Emancipation and Its Legacies” celebrates the sesquicentennial of President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. It was developed by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in partnership with the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.

“Though Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation more than 150 years ago, people today can still identify with the dreams and hopes of those formerly enslaved and the promise it held for them,” said Antoinette Van Zelm, assistant director of MTSU’s Center for Historic Preservation.

The exhibition is divided into five panels:

  • Conflicting Visions of the Future of the United States, 1850-1860;
  • War and Fugitive Slaves, 1861-1862;
  • Emancipation, 1863;
  • The Process of Emancipation, 1864-1865;
  • The Legacy of Emancipation: Civil War to Civil Rights, 1865-1964.

In conjunction with the exhibition, the Heritage Center will sponsor two free programs. The Nashville Public Television documentary “Reconstruction: A Moment in the Sun” will be screened at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 18.

Members of the Murfreesboro-based 13th United States Colored Troops re-enactment group will participate in “Emancipation on the Front Lines,” a living history program, from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 24.

The Heritage Center is a partnership among the Center for Historic Preservation, the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area and Main Street: Murfreesboro/Rutherford County.

In conjunction with the exhibit, a lesson plan for teachers and a scavenger hunt for students are available at www.tncivlwar.org. For more information, contact Van Zelm at 615-898-2947 or [email protected].