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Emancipation Day 2017

Emancipation Day festivities will be held on April 8, 2017. These include the parade at 1 pm, the concert at Freedom Plaza at 3 pm and fireworks at 9 pm.

Register to attend or view the flyer.

What is Emancipation Day?

The DC Compensated Emancipation Act of 1862 ended slavery in Washington, DC, freed 3,100 individuals, reimbursed those who had legally owned them and offered the newly freed women and men money to emigrate. It is this legislation, and the courage and struggle of those who fought to make it a reality, that we commemorate every April 16, DC Emancipation Day.

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DC Emancipation

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John A. Wilson Building
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Room 419, Washington, DC 20004
Phone: (202) 727-6306

Mayor Vincent Gray Announces Emancipation Events

Last Date:


The Mayor will announce the kickoff of Emancipation Day year-long activities and events to celebrate the sesquicentennial commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act that freed 3,100 enslaved persons in the District of Columbia. The announcement will highlight commemoration of Emancipation Day with a wide variety of activities hosted by the District government and its partners.

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