WASHINGTON — District of Columbia leaders and residents are preparing to celebrate a holiday that’s unique to the nation’s capital.
D.C. Emancipation Day commemorates the date in 1862 when President Abraham Lincoln freed all slaves in the city. Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation nine months later.
District schools and government offices are closed on Wednesday. Planned activities include a parade and a concert.
The parade and concert were the subject of a dispute between the D.C. Council and Mayor Vincent Gray. The council has a $350,000 budget for the festivities, but Councilmember Vincent Orange asked the mayor’s office to cover overtime costs for police and firefighters on top of that. The mayor’s office agreed, but only on the condition that the council relinquish control of Emancipation Day activities in the future.
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