DC Emancipation Day and the Emancipation Proclamation April 16, 2020

Emancipation Day celebrates President Abraham Lincoln’s signing of the Compensated Emancipation Act on 16 April 1862.  The Act freed over 3,000 slaves in the District of Columbia eight months before President Lincoln issued his broader Emancipation Proclamation during the Civil War. The District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act means the District has the distinction of being the only part of the United States to have compensated slave owners for freeing enslaved persons they held. It is a holiday in Washington DC with a parade, concerts, there and more.. Check here for special events surrounding this day.



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