Emancipation Day in USA 2020

National and Public Holidays in Washington D.C., USA State Holiday in Washington D.C.

Emancipation Day is celebrated on the weekday nearest 16 April in Washington D.C., USA.
Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C. via Pixabay

When is Emancipation Day?

How long until Emancipation Day?
This holiday next takes place in 362 Days.
Dates of
Year Weekday Date
2020 Thursday April 16th
2019 Tuesday April 16th
2018 Monday April 16th
2017 Monday April 17th
2016 Friday April 15th
1 Day
Washington DC Only. Weekday closest to April 16. marks the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia

Emancipation Day is a regional holiday observed in Washington D.C., USA.

Emancipation Day is celebrated on the weekday nearest 16 April and will next be observed on Thursday 16 April 2020.

History of Emancipation Day

Emancipation Day marks 16 April 1862, when President Abraham Lincoln signed the District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act.

The Act freed over 3,000 slaves in the District of Columbia eight months before President Lincoln issued his broader Emancipation Proclamation during the Civil War. The District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act means the District has the distinction of being the only part of the United States to have compensated slave owners for freeing enslaved persons they held.

It has been an official public holiday in the District since 2005.

A Taxing Holiday

The holiday is notable beyond Washington as the date can affect the Internal Revenue Service's due date for tax returns for all Americans. The deadline is usually 15 April. If 16 April falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the federal and all state tax deadlines is moved to 18 April. If Emancipation Day falls on a Monday, the deadline is 17 April.

It is often said there are only two certainties in life - death and taxes. That may be true but the deadline for the latter hasn't always been a certainty. In February 1913, the 16th Amendment gave Congress the legal authority to tax the income of the people, establishing the individual income tax. The original deadline was 1 March. It was changed to 15 March in 1918 and was only changed to the current date of 15 April in 1955.

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