This Day in History: 1862-04-16

U.S. President Abraham Lincoln signs the District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act into law, thereby ending slavery in the District of Columbia and compensating slaveholders for releasing their enslaved people. This signing occurred 9 months prior to Lincoln’s issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation. April 16 is celebrated in Washington, DC as Emancipation Day. Learn more.