Exhibition Stop is Part of Statewide Tour to Mark 150th Anniversary

For two days, on November 1 and 2, Roberson will proudly host The First Step to Freedom: Abraham Lincoln’s Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. Roberson Museum and Science Center was chosen to be one of only eight sites, state-wide, to display this exhibit designed by the New York State Museum. The exhibit commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and features the only surviving version of the Proclamation to be written in Lincoln’s own hand and a Centennial Address written by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The First Step to Freedom is further affirmation of Roberson’s importance to our community and beyond. And because of our current exhibition on The Civil War, our visitors will be able to gain a rich local context for this profoundly important period in American history. School groups are clamoring to schedule tours that will visit both The First Step to Freedom and The Civil War as well as experiencing special living-history presentations.

Thanks to the support of the Roger L. Kresge Foundation and other donors, Roberson will be free for the duration of The First Step to Freedom and Roberson staff are gearing up for an unprecedented number of visitors and potentially long lines. To help accommodate these numbers, we are expanding our hours on Thursday, November 1 when we will open to the public at noon and close at 8:00 PM. On Friday, November 2, we will be open from noon to 5:00 PM.

The First Step to Freedom comes with stringent guidelines and armed guards. We are both privileged and humbled to be the site of its display and the vehicle through which our community will view it. We look forward to seeing you here. And when you come…wear comfortable shoes!

Support provided by the general operations support grants from the United Cultural Fund, a program of the Broome County Arts Council; the Conrad and Virginia Klee Foundation; the Zoos, Botanical Gardens and Aquariums Program, administered by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreational, and Historical Preservation; and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.