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Events Mark D.C. Emancipation Day

A series of events in the District this week will commemorate Emancipation Day, the 145th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s April 16, 1862, signing of a bill freeing D.C.’s slaves.

The week will culminate with a D.C. Voting Rights March on Monday with Mayor Adrian Fenty (D), members of the City Council, and the House sponsors of a bill to give the District a vote in Congress, D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) and Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.). The march begins at 2:30 p.m. at Freedom Plaza, 13th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest, and will proceed down Pennsylvania Avenue for a 4 p.m rally at the Capitol Reflecting Pool.

An official D.C. public holiday since 2005, Emancipation Day marks the release of 3,100 slaves about nine months before Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.

Another event is “Celebrating Emancipation through Music, Words & Images,” featuring District poet laureate Dolores Kendrick, Councilman Marion Barry and the music of Howard University’s Afro Blue. It will be held Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Historical Society of Washington, 801 K St. NW.

A full list of events can be found on the D.C. Office of the Secretary Web site,

— Daniel Heim

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