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DC Emancipation Day

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Emancipation Day

The District of Columbia officially celebrates Emancipation Day on April 16th.  


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

The Reading of the Names of the 3100 Enslaved Persons Emancipated

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The Reading of the Names of the 3100 Enslaved Persons Emancipated by the District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act of 1862

This event is hosted and held by Commissioner Frank Smith of the DC Emancipation Day Commemoration Commission and The African American Civil Museum. The public is invited to participate. A discussion will be held afterwards.

African American Civil War Memorial located at Vermont Avenue and "U" Streets, NW, Washington, DC 20001


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