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Florida Department of State
Kurt S. Browning
Secretary of State
For Immediate Release
May 20, 2011
TALLAHASSEE – Florida Secretary of State Kurt Browning will be at the Knott House in Tallahassee today in honor of Emancipation Day in Florida. 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.
“Emancipation Day is a day that should never be forgotten, and I am proud that the Department of State is able to help educate Floridians about its significance,” said Secretary Browning. “As Americans, and as human beings, we have a responsibility to appreciate and nurture freedom for all.”
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. Today’s event at the Knott House, which begins at 11:30 a.m., will include a reading of the Emancipation Proclamation by General Edward Moody McCook, as portrayed by Brian Bibeau. Reverend Alfred Colson of St. James CME Church will lead prayers. Deacon John Rush of Mt. Horeb Primitive Baptist Church will lead the singing. Entertainment includes Sir Charles Atkins at the piano and Deborah Berlinger on drums. Dr. David Jackson, Chair of the History Department at Florida A&M University, will deliver the keynote address.
Secretary of State Kurt Browning will deliver the welcome at today’s event on behalf of the Florida Department of State. Sandy Shaughnessy, director of the department’s Division of Cultural Affairs, will serve as master of ceremonies. After the program, everyone is invited to enjoy a free picnic lunch across the street in Lewis Park.
Sponsors of today’s event 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. Additional appreciation goes to the John G. Riley Museum of African American History, the Leon Rifles, Florida A&M University, the Tallahassee Museum, the United States Colored Troops, 2nd Infantry Regiment, and dedicated volunteers.
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, under 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 www.museumoffloridahistory.com.