Black and white periodical illustration of a large crowd of African Americans celebrating the abolition of slavery in Washington, D.C.
Courtesy of Library of Congress. LC-USZ62-33937

D.C. Emancipation Day

Thursday, April 11, 2024

7-8 p.m. ET
Free | Webinar

On April 16th, 1862, a full eight before President Abraham Lincoln’s famous Emancipation Proclamation, a little-known law secured freedom for 3,200 people in the District of Columbia. From that time, April 16th is remembered as Emancipation Day in the hearts of Washingtonians and is a public holiday. This program will explore the history and legacy of this landmark day: how did anti-slavery forces in Washington fight against slavery in the years before the Civil War? How did the crucible of politics and war shape freedom in the nation’s capital? Ford’s Education and the National Park Service will take viewers on a journey through emancipation records to reveal the stories of real people who were in the vanguard of freedom during the Civil War.

This program is part of History Talks, a webinar series that explores facets of Abraham Lincoln’s complex Legacy and its relevance to today. These engaging talks, designed for history enthusiasts of all ages, feature compelling visuals with content experts delving into Lincoln’s legacy and the world of Civil War Washington.