First Lady Melania Trump toured the United States National Archives in Washington D.C on Thursday to view the Emancipation Proclamation and the Charters of Freedom ahead of Juneteenth.
“The National Archives is a treasured sanctuary for the written word and a monument to the principles of liberty, justice, and equality for all,” Melania said, according to a White House read-out of the visit. “During our country’s long march towards freedom, the Emancipation Proclamation and the Charters of Freedom continue to reaffirm our country’s democratic ideals and the values that have inspired me and all Americans to this day.”
Melania was accompanied by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, and the two began their tour visiting the Rotunda to view the three founding documents of America that constitute the Charters of Freedom: the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.
“Today, @SecretaryCarson & I visited the @USNatArchives to view the Emancipation Proclamation & Charters of Freedom. The significance behind these documents is an important reminder that our nation is built on the principles of freedom, liberty & equality for all. #Juneteenth,” Melania tweeted late Thursday.
The unannounced private tour was conducted by Archivist of the United States, David Ferriero, and Trevor Plante, director of the Archives Textual Records Division who gave both Melania and Secretary Carson details and an overview on the significance of the historic records.
According to the release from the First Lady’s office, “the document was particularly relevant given its significance to Juneteenth, the annual day of commemoration to celebrate and mark the end of slavery.”
They continued their tour visiting the Archivist’s Reception Room to view the 13th Amendment that outlawed slavery, the 19th Amendment that guarantees women the right to vote, and the 1965 Act that created the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Earlier this week, Melania launched a children’s art project honoring the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment and is asking students from around the nation to submit artwork focusing on depicting events representing the women’s suffrage movement.
2/2 Children can submit their drawing of a Suffragist, Suffrage Symbol, or Suffrage Event by July 6th & the winners will have their drawings featured in an exhibit that will launch this August! #BeBest— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) June 15, 2020
Submit your drawing here: https://t.co/laj10KlFTm
Along with visiting the Rotunda and the Archivist’s Reception Room, the First Lady and Secretary Carson also viewed General Order Number 3, a proclamation that give its significance to Juneteenth, the annual day of commemoration to celebrate and mark the end of slavery. The proclamation came two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation, that all slaves were freed.