One of the most important and cherished documents in the National Archives holdings, the Emancipation Proclamation, will be on exhibit at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan from Monday, June 20 at 7 p.m. to Wednesday, June 22 at 7 a.m. The Proclamation is part of the National Archives very successful Civil War show, "Discovering the Civil War," that has begun an extended nation wide tour.

Because of the fragile condition of the Proclamation, it can only be exhibit for a very limited period. The rest of the exhibit will continue until Sept. 5.

The museum is giving the Proclamation a grand reception with local television journalists, ministers and professors taking turns reading it aloud on a tight 30-minute schedule during much of the exhibit time. Church choirs are also scheduled to perform.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson tried to downplay the excitement over the exhibit by saying there is still much to be done to level the racial playing field according to a story in the Detroit Free Press.

“I want us to celebrate, but don’t jump too high,” Jackson said. “It was a landmark on the journey to end slavery, but it was not the finish line.”