What Do You Know About Emancipation Day?

Posted on: April 15th, 2011 by National Trust for Historic Preservation 1 Comment

This weekend, President Lincoln’s Cottage will host Debating Emancipation, an interactive program exploring the struggles faced by Abraham Lincoln as he dealt with a civil war and slavery.

Curious why your taxes aren't due today? There's a story behind the extension -- a fascinating and historically-significant one.

Today, all municipal offices in the District of Columbia are closed in observance of Emancipation Day, a public holiday commemorating the end of slavery in Washington, DC.

Few Americans know that nine months before the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect in January 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill ending slavery in DC, freeing nearly 3,000 people and compensating former owners who were loyal to the Union. 

To explore the struggles faced by Lincoln as he dealt with a civil war and slavery, President Lincoln's Cottage, a National Trust Historic Site, developed Debating Emancipation, an award-winning interactive program for students and teachers. On Saturday, April 16, 2011, at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., visitors will have a chance to participate in this special program, debating the pros and cons of emancipation by taking on the roles of President Lincoln's cabinet members and by using historical documents.

This program is free of charge on a first-come, first-serve basis. For more information on Debating Emancipation, please visit http://lincolncottage.org/schoolsandgroups/oncampus.htm.

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The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded non-profit organization, works to save America's historic places.

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One Response

  1. Milan Cole

    April 17, 2011

    I was wondering why the tax holiday was extended. Not that anyone is going to complain about a couple extra days to delay paying taxes.