WASHINGTON — Museum of the Bible invites guests to observe the 159th anniversary of D.C. Emancipation Day with special educational activities on Friday, April 16, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Emancipation Day, a holiday local to Washington, D.C., commemorates the day President Abraham Lincoln abolished slavery and freed more than 3,000 enslaved people in the district in 1862, before issuing the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863.
“D.C. Emancipation Day marks an important moment in our country’s history,” says Harry Hargrave, CEO of Museum of the Bible. “We encourage guests to join us in learning more about and reflecting on this day of freedom.”
Guests will have opportunities to engage in a variety of family friendly learning activities, including:
Education Station activities, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Floor 4
Word search: A word search will be available at the Education Station, and a staff member will point guests toward exhibition cases within the second-floor exhibit, “The Impact of the Bible,” that are relevant to the search. Guests can explore the gallery and write down definitions or something new they learned about each word.
Create your own headline: Guests can examine the original edition of Harper’s Weekly edition on special display and other objects in “The Impact of the Bible” exhibit, such as William Lloyd Garrison’s article in The Liberator. Guests can then create their own headline about D.C. emancipation based on these 19th-century headlines and draw a picture related to their headline.
Interacting with Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln: Guests will have the opportunity to visit with Lincoln and Douglass, portrayed by the museum’s living history interpreters, and ask “Who, what, when, where, why and how” questions. Guests will then have the option of filling in a dialogue on an illustration of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.
Whiteboard activity: A staff member will write a prompt on a whiteboard for guests to respond to, such as, “Why is Emancipation Day so important?” and “Why is Emancipation Day still relevant today?” Guests will then write their responses on a sticky note and place them on the whiteboard.
Educational performances by living history interpreters: Floor 2, outside “The Impact of the Bible” exhibit
“Lincoln and Douglass”: 11:30 a.m, 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
A conversation between President Lincoln and abolitionist and author Frederick Douglass.
“The Road to Emancipation”: 12 p.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m., 4 p.m.
A young girl finds her great-great-great Aunt Mabel’s journal and reads about her aunt’s enslavement, as well as her hearing about the Emancipation Proclamation and the events that followed.
Virtual docent engagement, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.: Floor 4, “The History of the Bible” exhibit
Guests have the opportunity to interact with docents via Zoom to learn more about the museum’s exhibitions.
Admission is free for youth ages 17 and under from D.C., Maryland and Virginia on D.C. Emancipation Day. Tickets for adults, seniors, students, first responders and members of the military are available here. Admission is free for Museum of the Bible members.
More information on Museum of the Bible is available here.