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Press Release
March 5, 2007

The National Archives Celebrates Anniversary of DC Emancipation Act With Panel Discussion on Slavery and Freedom

Washington, DC…On Thursday, April 12, at 7 p.m. the National Archives and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture will present a panel discussion “Slavery and Freedom in Washington, DC: Show Me the Evidence!” to observe the 145th anniversary of the District of Columbia’s Compensated Emancipation Act. The program will be held in the William G. McGowan Theater of the National Archives Building on Constitution Avenue between 7th and 9th Streets, NW, Washington, DC.

On April 16, 1862, before slaves were freed elsewhere in the United States, President Abraham Lincoln signed the law freeing 3,100 slaves in Washington, DC. The panel will explore the lives of free and enslaved African Americans in the nation’s capital, documentation from that period, and the impact the act had on the region and the nation. The panel will feature Lerone Bennett, Jr., executive director emeritus, Ebony; Elizabeth Clark Lewis of Howard University; and Walter Hill, senior archivist in African American history. The program will be moderated by John W. Franklin of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. For further information on DC Emancipation Week programs, visit

The program is free and open to the public. For information about National Archives Public Programs, call 202-357-5000, or view the Calendar of Events online. Use the National Archives Building Special Events entrance on the corner of 7th Street and Constitution Avenue.

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For Press information, please call the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-357-5300.


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