WAMU 88.5 : Morning Edition

Filed Under:

D.C. Emancipation Document On View In Capitol

Play associated audio
Cheerleaders march in the Emancipation Day parade in D.C. April 16.
Markette Smith
Cheerleaders march in the Emancipation Day parade in D.C. April 16.

It's literally a few short pages in D.C.'s history, but the document is an important one.

This year marks 150 years from the date President Abraham Lincoln signed the D.C. Compensated Emancipation Act of 1862. The act freed more than 3,000 slaves in the District nine months before the 16th president signed the Emancipation Proclamation freeing all slaves in the South.

The DC Emancipation document is now on display at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center as part of the 150th anniversary.

It's just so exciting to see this original document and to see the original signature of Abraham Lincoln and he signed it April 16, 1862," says Sharon Gang of the Capitol Visitor Center. 

Lincoln's signature is written neatly in cursive on the last line of the document. Before signing his name, the 16th president wrote one simple word: "approved."

To mark the anniversary yesterday, District leaders shut down a portion of Pennsylvania Avenue NW for a parade. Patricia Williams was there.

"Well, you know, D.C. has really become a melting pot. It's an international melting pot and it's a cultural melting pot," Williams said. "If we do not learn about each other's history and past and all of the things that are important to each culture, then we can't come together as a people."

The original copy of the D.C. Emancipation Act is on display at the Capitol Visitor Center until September. 

NPR

'Heat And Light' Digs For The Soul Of Coal Country

Jennifer Haigh grew up in small town Pennsylvania, where jobs disappeared when coal mines closed. Her new novel explores the changes that mining — and now fracking — has brought to nearby communities.
NPR

Frozen Food Fears: 4 Things To Know About The Listeria Recall

The FDA issued a massive recall of frozen fruits and vegetables this week. Here's what you need to know about the nasty bug that's causing all the problems.
NPR

Ohio Gov. John Kasich Suspends Presidential Campaign

Ohio Gov. John Kasich, the final remaining opponent to Donald Trump in the GOP presidential race, is expected to drop his bid Wednesday. That makes Donald Trump the apparent Republican nominee.
NPR

After A Long Day At The Computer Do You Have A Medical Problem?

You're not alone if you feel a sting in your eyes and have blurry vision and neck pain after sitting in front of your computer for hours. But is there a name for your ailment?

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.