Happy D.C. Emancipation Day

Boston has Marathon Monday (which sounds awesome). The whole country gets to delay their tax returns tomorrow (which, at least for my family, is a celebration in its own right.) Here in D.C., we have our own celebration this (and every) April 16th. Happy D.C. Emancipation Day!

In fact, this obscure D.C. holiday, where city employees and public schools have the day off, is the reason we don’t have to turn in our taxes until April 17 this year. So, we must ask, what is D.C. Emancipation Day?

April 16th marks the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s proclamation freeing slaves in the District of Columbia on April 16, 1862 — a full eight months before he freed the slaves in the South. (Also, a shoutout to the most anticipated blockbuster of the summer — Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, where he battles the South by day and Confederate vamipres by night.)

Besides city schools and offices being closed today, there are a number of festivities planned, largely around downtown. The Huffington Post has a complete list of Emancipation Day festivities. (The street fair around Freedom Plaza is probably going to be around for the next couple of hours.) So, (if you find yourself wanting to leave Healy Beach today for some inexplicable reason) feel free to head down there and celebrate this most obscure of D.C. municipal holidays.