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President McDavis to give keynote address at Gallipolis Emancipation Day Celebration

ATHENS, Ohio (Sept. 15, 2006) -- On Sunday, Sept. 17, Ohio University President Roderick McDavis will serve as the keynote speaker at the 143rd Emancipation Day Celebration in Gallipolis, Ohio.

The two-day celebration takes place every year to celebrate Abraham Lincoln's signing of the Emancipation Proclamation and is reported to be the longest running celebration in the nation. 

The celebration originally took place on Sept. 22 of each year to coincide with the actual day of the signing of document, which declared, "all persons held as slaves ... henceforward shall be free."

Organizers see the celebration as a way to celebrate the rights and freedoms Americans now have. They also hope to show the positive contributions African-Americans have made to the American way of life. This year's event includes games for children and adults, a voter registration drive, and ethnic arts and crafts booths, as well as historical and genealogical exhibits.   

More information can be found on the Emancipation Day Committee Web site at www.emancipation-day.com

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Media Contact: Media Specialist George Mauzy, (740) 597-1794 or mauzy@ohio.edu

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