Civil War characters stroll down Pennsylvania Avenue during the Emancipation Day Parade on Saturday, April 16, 2016 in northwest. /Photo by Patricia Little @5feet2
Black History


Residents of the District of Columbia and tourists had the opportunity to observe the DC Emancipation Day parade on Saturday, April 16, 2016 at 1 p.m. along Pennsylvania Avenue in northwest. The event, which was made an official holiday in 2005, featured educational and commemorative activities that celebrated the end of slavery in the nation’s capital. Participants included DCPS and College marching bands, dancers, all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, balloon floats, local officials, community associations, and DC Statehood organizations. Proceeding the parade was a concert and fireworks display at Freedom Plaza. President Abraham Lincoln signed the Compensated Emancipation on April 16, 1862, which granted freedom to 3,100 enslaved persons in the District of Columbia. The act passed nine months before Lincoln’s famous Emancipation Proclamation, thereby granting freedom to citizens living in the District of Columbia, and making it the country’s first freed from the institution of slavery.

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