Students Celebrate President Lincoln’s Legacy

In the final climactic scene of Paths to Freedom, President Lincoln signs the Emancipation Proclamation in his White House office.

The White House Historical Association is dedicated to educating the public about the history of the White House. In an effort to bring White House history to local schools, the association launched free outreach programs for K-6 students in 2006. These standards based programs include a classroom visit from an experienced educator, as well as additional pre and post lesson materials for the classroom teacher.

In 2008, the Association launched Paths to Freedom: Slavery, Emancipation and the Power of the President, a free field trip program in which students in grades 4-6 recreate the events surrounding the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Each student researches and acts the part of an historic character from the 1860s and traces President Abraham Lincoln’s steps as he considered emancipation and its alternatives. The costumed reenactment invites students to explore the notion of bondage and freedom within the real historic spaces of Decatur House.

In addition to our school programs, the White House Historical Association offers a variety of teacher workshops and programs. Ranging in a variety of topics that includes “The Civil War White House,” “The Press and the President,” and “Why Teach the White House,” these workshops provide a varied program of lectures, primary source analysis, and resources for the classroom.