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Contact: Chris Cate

Secretary Detzner Announces Emancipation Day Celebration

Celebration to take place Knott House Museum on Monday, May 20, 2013, from 11:30 p.m. to 2:00 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 on Monday, May 20, 2013, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 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 a great opportunity to unite our community while helping students and families learn more about Florida’s history," said Secretary Detzner. "This year’s celebration is especially significant because it is the 150th anniversary of President Lincoln signing the Emancipation Proclamation, a pivotal event in our history that should never be forgotten."

Immediately after the Civil War, Union Brigadier General Edward M. McCook was staying at the Hagner house, the structure now known as the Knott House. The responsibility fell to General McCook to announce the proclamation. The Museum of Florida History and the John G. Riley Museum welcome all to join the celebration of this historic event. The program features remarks by Secretary Detzner and a keynote address by the director of African American Studies at Florida State University, Dr. Patrick L. Mason. A dramatic reading of the Emancipation Proclamation will also be performed by Brian Bibeau portraying General McCook.

The event includes many activities and performances, including local Blues favorite Sir Charles Atkins and ALARM Worship Arts Ministry. After the program at the Knott House, everyone is invited to enjoy a free picnic lunch across the street in Lewis Park.

Start the day at 10:45 a.m. with the John G. Riley Museum’s Civil War Grave Decorating Commemorative Service. This program dates back to the 1880s and is held at the Old City Cemetery, on Martin Luther King Street between Park Avenue and Call Street. It is open to the public.

Free admission is offered from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the following participating sites: Florida A&M University Black Archives at the Union Bank, Florida Historic Capitol Museum, John G. Riley Museum of African American History and Culture, Knott House Museum, Museum of Florida History, and the Taylor House Museum. A map to these sites is available at

The Emancipation Day Celebration sponsors include Hopping, Green, and Sams, P.A.; the City of Tallahassee; Po’ Boys Creole Café; Friends of the Museums of Florida History, Inc.; Tallahassee Downtown; and the Council on Culture and Arts, 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 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:   Monday, May 20, 2013, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Where:  Knott House Museum
             301 East Park Avenue, at the corner of Park Avenue and Calhoun Street
             Tallahassee, Florida