The "Founding Freedoms" exhibit runs daily through November 14 at the Annapolis State House.
An exhibit showcasing historical texts in American history just opened at Maryland's capital. Called Founding Freedoms: The Essential American Documents, visitors can examine printings of the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights at the time of their drafting, as well as insight into the nation's early roots as a democracy.
The exhibit, which opened on September 10, was conceived by businessman David M. Rubenstein and the Maryland State Archives, who selected the pieces from his personal collection. They will reside alongside one of the capital's most prized possessions: an original resignation letter penned by George Washington in 1783 upon resigning from the Continental Army.
"Seeing historic documents in person brings them alive in ways that images online or in a book cannot," Rubenstein said in a public statement. "I am hopeful the Founding Freedoms exhibit will attract a range of generations and prompt a fresh appreciation for our great American experiment."
The free exhibit seeks to provide context into the story of America's founding through the pivotal documents that defined it. Some of the highlights include the first newspaper clipping of the Constitution, the printing of the Bill of Rights with 12 amendments, and a first-edition engraving of the Declaration of Independence by William Stone. The copperplate engraving of the document has become the canonical image in school textbooks and resides in the National Archives.
It's appropriate that an exhibit on historical American texts would appear at Maryland's State Capital. Not only is it the oldest operating capital building in the country, but it was also the nation's capital for a brief moment in time. The Continental Congress convened there for 10 months between 1783 and 1784 and is also where George Washington read his letter aloud to the Senate.
Historic Annapolis' President and CEO Robert C. Clark cites Maryland's role in "the birth and development of a new nation" as told through the documents on display.
"We appreciate the support of the State House Trust in making these documents accessible to the public, and thank Mr. Rubenstein for bringing them to Annapolis so we can highlight the vital role
The exhibit is open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through November 14. Find out more about it here and see what other exhibits are happening, too!
Will you be checking out the Founding Freedoms exhibit? What's the last history exhibit you've seen, and what did you think? Tell us about it in the comments!f