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Contact: Chris Cate

Secretary Detzner Announces Emancipation Day Celebration

Celebration to take place Knott House Museum on Sunday, May 20, 2012, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Tallahassee, Florida –

Secretary of State Ken Detzner is encouraging Floridians and visitors to attend the Emancipation Day Celebration at the Knott House Museum in Tallahassee this Sunday, May 20, 2012, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. The annual event celebrates the announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation in Florida, on May 20, 1865, at the Knott House, two years after the proclamation was first issued by President Abraham Lincoln.

“The Emancipation Day celebration is an important community event that can help students and their families learn more about Florida history,” said Secretary Detzner. “Emancipation Day was one of the most significant events in our state’s history, and it should never be forgotten.”

General Edward McCook and his Union soldiers were staying at the Knott House immediately after the end of the Civil War, when the responsibility fell to him to make the announcement. Celebrate this historic event at the Knott House with a reading of the Emancipation Proclamation by Brian Bibeau who will portray Civil War Brigadier General Edward Moody McCook.

Reverend Brant Copeland of the First Presbyterian Church will lead the event’s convocation.  Joe Thomas with the Walker Ford Community Center will announce the schedule of related activities during the week. Entertainment includes local favorite Charles Atkins playing the keyboard and singing. Dr. Andrea L. Oliver from Tallahassee Community College will deliver the keynote address.

Sandy Shaughnessy, Director of the Department of State’s Division of Cultural Affairs, will deliver the welcome on behalf of the Florida Department of State. Ms. Shaughnessy will also serve as master of ceremonies. After the program, everyone will be invited to enjoy a free picnic lunch across the street in Lewis Park.

A commemoration honoring the African American Union soldiers buried in the Old City Cemetery will take place at the cemetery on Sunday, May 20 at 1:00 p.m. The commemoration will be led by the staff of the John G. Riley House Museum.

The Emancipation Day Celebration sponsors include Hopping, Green, & Sams, P.A., the City of Tallahassee, the Tallahassee Downtown Improvement Authority, Po’ Boys Creole Café, and the Friends of the Museums of Florida History, Inc.

About the Knott House Museum

The Knott House Museum is located at 301 East Park Avenue, at the corner of Park Avenue and Calhoun Street, Tallahassee, Florida. The historic site is open for tours from Wednesday through Saturday. The Knott House Museum is part of the Florida Department of State’s Museum of Florida History in the Division of Cultural Affairs.

Admission is free and open to the public, but there is a small charge for group tours. Please call 850.922.2459 for more information or visit online at

Event Information

Emancipation Day Celebration
When:    Sunday, May 20, 2012, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Where:   Knott House Museum
              301 East Park Avenue,
              at the corner of Park Avenue and Calhoun Street
              Tallahassee, Florida