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Emancipation Day in the District of Columbia

by Borderstan.com April 16, 2010 at 5:00 am 0

U Street and Vermont Avenue NW: There was a wreath-laying ceremony yesterday at the African American Civil War Memorial to mark DC Emancipation Day. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Today is Emancipation Day in Washington, DC. On this day in 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed an emancipation proclamation that freed 3,100 slaves in the District of Columbia. This proclamation came five months before Lincoln’s more famous Emancipation Proclamation that freed slaves in the states of the Confederacy. April 16 became an official DC holiday in 2005.

The DC government website has a full listing of Emancipation Day events. Busboys & Poets at 14th and V NW has a program at 4 p.m. today, “2010 Emancipation Day Celebration: DC Almost 150 Years Later.” The event is co-sponsored by Organizing Neighborhood Equity (ONE DC).

The African American Civil War Memorial at U Street and Vermont Avenue NW is a lovely–and too often overlooked–memorial here in the neighborhood. It opened in 1999 and honors the African American soldiers who fought with the Union Army in the Civil War. Check it out when you are on U Street; it is next to the U Street-Cardozo Metro Stop.

Regarding city services: The city is picking up trash and recyclables today even though the DC Government is closed. Parking enforcement is suspended except for the area around Nationals Park. However, normal workday traffic patterns are in effect.

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