The Freedom Shrine is an impressive, permanently mounted collection of 30 of the most important and historic American documents, including the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States and the Gettysburg Address. They show our nation’s youth the strength and courage of their forefathers by allowing them to read, with their own eyes, the immortal words of inspired Americans who so decisively changed the course of history.
Exchange would like to see a Freedom Shrine installed in every junior and senior high school in the nation. Freedom Shrines have also found places of honor in universities, libraries, state capitols, airports, city halls and other public places where they can be studied and admired. To view a virtual Freedom Shrine, visit the Virtual Freedom Shrine website, hosted by the Exchange Club of Salem, N.H.
Developed by the National Exchange Club, the Freedom Shrine originated from the Freedom Train that toured the nation in 1947 carrying an exhibit of historic documents. The purpose of the Freedom Shrine is twofold. It puts before young Americans proof that the freedom and greatness we enjoy today were not purchased easily and reminds them that these gifts must be cherished and protected. Painstakingly researched to guarantee absolute authenticity, the 28 historical American documents that comprise the Shrine were carefully chosen to exemplify the beginnings of our nation and those subsequent turning points of importance which shaped our national character and eminence. The documents of the Shrine, although culled from the past, represent foundation stones which permit the present, as we know it, to exist and the future, as we dream it, to be attainable.
Thousands of Shrines have been dedicated throughout the United States and Puerto Rico in universities, libraries, schools, state capitals, city halls and at American outposts scattered throughout the world.
The Shrine is a display of historical documents photographically reproduced from the originals and permanently laminated to individual non-warping plaques. It is used by teachers, students, study groups and other clubs to further study American history. Exchange prints a study tool called the Freedom Shrine Documents Textbook which contains the texts of the documents of the Shrine. It can be used to inspire essay and speech contests, and to prepare for the Milestones of Freedom quiz. For more information on Freedom Shrines, request a free kit from your National Headquarters