Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.

88-year-old Mrs. Sally Fickland, a former slave, looking at the Emancipation Proclamation in 1947.

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She would have been 3 years old when Lincoln signed the proclamation in 1862.

Due to its fragile condition—it was printed on both sides of poor-quality 19th-century paper, unlike the Constitution, which is written on more durable parchment—the Emancipation Proclamation can only be displayed for 30 hours each year.

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