Today is Emancipation Day in our nation’s capital. It is more than just a local holiday and the reason your federal taxes are due a day later this year. That is because this year marks the 150th anniversary of emancipation in America.
On April 16, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the District of Columbia Emancipation Act, passed by Congress, to free nearly 3,000 slaves in D.C. The act ended slavery in the district several months before Lincoln announced that he would issue the Emancipation Proclamation to free slaves in the South.
Although slavery is now illegal, on this anniversary it is important to remember that it still exists—in the U.S. and around the world. The work of the abolition movement is not done. What Lincoln and others began remains unfinished business.
On this D.C. Emancipation Day, I would like to express a thank you to each and every person who remains committed to supporting Free the Slaves and the work we are doing to end slavery worldwide.
For some inspirational reading, here is a link to the actual text of the D.C. Emancipation Act.