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Emancipation Day Parade

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Emancipation Day is an official public holiday in Washington, DC. On April 16, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed into law the DC Compensated Emancipation Act, which abolished slavery in the District and freed 3,100 enslaved persons.

Each year to honor and commemorate this historic event a grand parade is held on Pennsylvania Avenue. Participants include public officials, government agencies, the DC schools, the US military, churches, universities, community organizations, and more.

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