Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.


DC Emancipation Day

DC Agency Top Menu

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.

Upcoming Events

There are no events at this time.

View Past Events >

DC Emancipation

Emancipation Day Logo
Connect With Us
John A. Wilson Building
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Room 419, Washington, DC 20004
Phone: (202) 727-6306

Join Mayor Muriel Bowser to Celebrate 2023 DC Emancipation Day

Last Date:

Join us for a celebration of DC Emancipation Day with a parade led by Mayor Muriel Bowser, a concert featuring local and national artists, and a fireworks display to end the night!

Emancipation Day honors President Abraham Lincoln’s signing of the Compensated Emancipation Act in 1862, which freed over 3,100 enslaved persons in the District of Columbia.

All events are free to the public!

To request reasonable accommodations, please call (202) 442-8150.


Subscribe to emancipation RSS