150th Anniversary of Emancipation Day

Today mark’s the 150th Anniversary of the Compensated Emancipation Act, legislation signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln that released slaves in the District of Columbia – nine months before the more well-known Emancipation Proclamation was issued.  Washington, D.C. now honors this day as Emancipation Day, a government holiday.

Today in D.C., a parade will take place on Pennsylvania Avenue to commemorate the holiday, and the Capitol Visitor Center is displaying an original copy of the Compensated Emancipation Act of 1862.

The Washington Post published a good article by Michael Ruane several days ago with interesting information on just how slave owners were compensated for their loss of “property” due to the Act.

About Gettysburg 150 Concerts

The Battle of Gettysburg and Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address represent two of the most significant milestones in American history. One changed the course of America’s bloodiest conflict – when the fighting ended, the brutal three-day battle left behind more than 51,000 killed, wounded, captured, or missing – the other encapsulated the significance of American democracy and paved the way for reconciliation and healing. Music Celebrations International (MCI) provides unique performance and educational opportunities to performing groups around the globe. MCI is an exclusive licensee with Gettysburg 150. The aim of Gettysburg 150 and MCI is to invite performance ensembles from every corner of the United States to participate in ceremonies marking the anniversary, and to conduct commemorative performances at the battlefield site where so many Americans lost their lives, and where Lincoln’s immortal words became enshrined in history.
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