Timme Mackie / WWJ-TV Community Affairs Intern
Dearborn (WWJ-TV) – On June 20-22 the Henry Ford Museum was swarming with people anxious to view the second most important document in United States history.
This year is the 150th anniversary of the ending to the Civil War and people from all over the Midwest were standing in a 3-5 hour line at the Henry Ford Museum waiting to catch a glimpse of the original Emancipation Proclamation. Viewing the document really was a once in a lifetime opportunity, seeing as the last time it came to Michigan was in 1947. With that said, you can imagine the amount of people that made their way out to Dearborn the first day that the document was available for viewing.
When I arrived at the museum on the 20th around 9 p.m. I was shocked to see the line, which my dad and I were told would be a 4 ½ to 5 hour wait. Thinking we were smarter than everyone else, we decided to come back at 4 in the morning. Even at the crack of dawn people were pulling into the parking lot as we arrived. We ended up waiting in line for 3 hours before finally getting the chance to see the Emancipation Proclamation up close and in person. One man told us that he had been in the museum watching a civil war documentary since 8 p.m. the night before waiting for the line to go down. Despite being exhausted and my feet hurting a little, it was worth it.
I’m glad I’ll have the chance to tell my children and grandchildren that I saw the second most important document in US history when it came to Michigan in 2011. I’m sure many others feel the same way.