Due to a special event, on Wednesday, July 8, there will be no tours of the U.S. Capitol after 11 a.m. Emancipation Hall and Exhibition Hall in the Capitol Visitor Center will be unavailable all day. While reservations prior to 11 a.m. will be honored, same-day passes will not be available. The Capitol Visitor Center will close at noon except for individuals on official business and those going to the House and Senate Galleries.

Exhibit Theme

Proclaiming Emancipation

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Abraham Lincoln, lithograph copy...
Image Caption

Abraham Lincoln, lithograph copy of the Emancipation Proclamation, January 1, 1863

In the Emancipation Proclamation of January 1863, President Lincoln specified areas of the nation where enslaved people would be liberated. The proclamation focused on freeing slaves held as property within states that had seceded in rebellion from the Union. States not represented in Congress were considered to be rebellious.

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…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…

Manuscript Division, Library of Congress