On April 16, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Compensated Emancipation Act, granting freedom to 3,100 enslaved persons in the District of Columbia. The act passed nine months before Lincoln’s famous Emancipation Proclamation and granted freedom to enslaved persons in the District of Columbia as the country’s first freed from the institution of slavery. In 2005, DC Emancipation Day was made an official public holiday. Each year, educational and commemorative activities are held celebrating the end of slavery in the nation’s capital.
A concert will be held today at Freedom Plaza at 4:30 p.m. featuring Grammy award-winning gospel artist Kirk Franklin. Fireworks at 8:30 p.m.
Through April 30, 2013, visit President Lincoln’s cottage, on Rock Creek Church Rd and Upshur St. in NW. A rare, signed copy of the Emancipation Proclamation is currently on display at the historic site.
And, for a bite to eat tonight, head to LINCOLN Restauraunt, 1110 Vermont Ave, NW Washington DC. 20 percent of the sales today will be used to support programs at President Lincoln’s Cottage.