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150 Years at GPO
March 4, 1861 was a day of two inaugurations - Abraham Lincoln took office and the Government Printing Office opened for business. In our special report, 150 Years at GPO, Federal News Radio examines GPO's technological evolution over the years. We also take a multimedia tour inside GPO's plant operations where the agency prints the Congressional Record and Federal Register.
GPO exhibit features draft of Emancipation Proclamation
Wednesday - 6/15/2011, 5:40pm EDT
Federal News Radio
An exhibit opening June 22 to the public features 150 years of work by the Government Printing Office, including an original preliminary copy of the Emancipation Proclamation.
The copy was printed by GPO in September 1862 and bears faint penciled corrections. Most likely the marks were made by GPO proofreaders. Those corrections were incorporated into the final Proclamation, issued in January 1863.
The preliminary Proclamation is on loan from the Library of Congress through the end of the year.
GPO had printed 15,000 preliminary versions for the War Department, which were distributed to commanders, troops and diplomats.
The exhibit - entitled "Keeping America Informed: United States Government Printing Office: 150 Years of Service to the Nation" - coincides with the printing of a retrospective book detailing the agency's history.
According to the book, the significance of the document was evident in a letter then-Public Printer John Defrees wrote to President Abraham Lincoln's secretary, "Only a few events stand out prominently on the page of the history of each century ... The proposed proclamation of the President will be that one of this century."
Check out the rest of the 150 Years at GPO series.
- Inside GPO's printing plant [Audio slideshow included]
- GPO evolves from printing press to digital platform [Photo gallery included]
- Timeline of GPO's history [Interactive timeline]
- Making of the Congressional Record [Graphic]