On April 16, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Compensated Emancipation Act, granting freedom to 3,100 enslaved persons in the District of Columbia. The act passed nine months before Lincoln’s famous Emancipation Proclamation and granted freedom to enslaved persons in the District of Columbia as the country's first freed from the institution of slavery. In 2005, DC Emancipation Day was made an official public holiday. Each year, educational and commemorative activities are held celebrating the end of slavery in the nation’s capital.
Schedule of EventsThe Great Debate II
April 14, 2013, 6-8 p.m. Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U S.t NW, Washington, DC. Rev. Al Sharpton, Niger Innis and Julianne Malveaux will be taking part in the free event. It will also be streaming on OCT.gov and Centrictv.com.
Emancipation Parade and District Sponsored Emancipation Events
April 16, 2013. 11 a.m. Pennsylvania Ave. Washington DC. The world famous UniverSoul Circus will be participating in this year's parade. At 1:30 p.m., educational workshops will take place at the Wilson Building featuring Mark Plotkin, Frank Smith and academics from Howard University. A concert will be held at Freedom Plaza at 4:30 p.m. featuring Grammy award-winning gospel artist Kirk Franklin. Fireworks at 8:30 p.m. See Photos of the parade.
President Lincoln's Cottage
Through April 30, 2013. Rock Creek Church Rd and Upshur St. NW Washington, DC. A rare, signed copy of the Emancipation Proclamation is currently on display at the historic site.
April 16, 2013, 11 a.m.-midnight. 1110 Vermont Ave, NW Washington DC. Dine at the LINCOLN Restaurant on DC Emancipation Day and 20 percent of the sales on that day will be used to support programs at President Lincoln’s Cottage.
Clara Barton National Historic Site
April 20, 2013. 5801 Oxford Road, Glen Echo, MD. Dr. Chandra Manning, Georgetown University history professor and author of “What This Cruel War Was Over: Soldiers, Slavery, and the Civil War” will present a lecture on emancipation. She will highlight the challenges freed slaves faced in 1863 and will discuss how soldiers, slaves and other people felt about the Emancipation Proclamation. Ms. Manning will also describe what life was like in the slave refugee camps in Hilton Head, South Carolina where Clara Barton worked in 1863 helping former slaves. For reservations, call (301) 320-1410>