Emancipation Day, District of Columbia, Monday, April 16
Emancipation Day is a holiday in the District of Columbia. This holiday marks the anniversary of the signing of the Compensated Emancipation Act on April 16, 1862 by President Abraham Lincoln. It is held annually on April 16.
Local government offices are closed in Washington, DC and a number of events take place to share the history of the District of Columbia in general and slavery in particular.
Slavery was legal until 1865 in most of the area that is now the United States. The Compensation Emancipation Act freed more than 3,000 slaves in the District of Columbia. However, slavery did not officially end in the rest of the country until the end of the American Civil War in 1865.
Did you know that slavery was abolished in the British Empire on August 1, 1834?
African Daisies, Kentlands Photowalk, Gaithersburg, MD
Photograph by Roy Kelley
Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs