D.C. Observes Emancipation Day

The holiday marks the day President Lincoln freed the city’s slaves in 1862.

Posted: 04/15/2011 06:29 PM EDT
Filed Under Washington D.C.

(Photo: EPA/SOTHEBY'S/HANDOUT/Landov)

With a flurry of festivals and exhibits, D.C. residents celebrate Emancipation Day on Friday, while taxpayers across the nation are given a little extension. The city holiday marks the day, April 16, 1862, when President Lincoln signed an act to officially end slavery in the nation’s capital, nine months before the Emancipation Proclamation.

Schools and city offices were closed Friday in observation of the holiday. And it is because of Emancipation Day that citizens across the U.S. have more time to file their taxes. Since the D.C. government is closed April 15, the IRS extended the tax deadline to April 18.

D.C. residents are celebrating Emancipation Day with a day of service and festivals, some of which include a re-enactment of speeches by famed abolitionist Frederick Douglass.

Mayor Vincent Gray, who made headlines recently for being arrested while protesting federal budget cuts earlier this week, will spend part of the holiday attending another protest for D.C. voting rights.

Celebrations are set to continue tomorrow, April 16. The city government has a full list of activities on its Web site.

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