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.
Emancipation Day Parade – Tuesday, April 16, 2013. 11 a.m.- 2:00 p.m., Pennsylvania Ave. between 3rd Street and 13 1/2 street NW. The world famous UniverSoul Circus will be participating in this year’s parade. Will also feature: Battle of DC High School Bands, Re-enactors in period dress, family activities and Free DC Statehood, Now
Emancipation Day Educational Workshops – Tuesday, April 16, 2013. at 1:30 p.m., at the Wilson Building featuring Mark Plotkin, Frank Smith and academics from Howard University.
Emancipation Day Concert – Tuesday, April 16, 2013. 4:30pm at Freedom Plaza featuring Grammy award-winning gospel artist Kirk Franklin.
Emancipation Day Fireworks Display – Tuesday, April 16, 2013. 8:30 p.m.