PHOTOS: DC celebrates Emancipation Day

WTOP's Mike Murillo reports from Freedom Plaza during the D.C. Emancipation Day celebration.

Tuesday will mark 162 years since the D.C. Compensated Emancipation Act of 1862 freed thousands of enslaved people in the District. The city commemorated the milestone Sunday with a parade, music and other events.

Mayor Muriel Bowser and other members of D.C. government took part in the Emancipation Day celebration.

“This is a day to observe the history, but also challenge ourselves until we are fully emancipated and are the 51st state” Bowser told WTOP.

The act, which was the first of its kind in the country, was signed into law months before the Emancipation Proclamation was signed by Abraham Lincoln on Jan. 1, 1963.

Some of the highlights of the events this year in D.C. included performances by Grammy-nominated R&B artists Ginuwine and Kelly Price. Several local musical acts also took to the stage, including go-go bands Black Alley and EU featuring Sugar Bear. Choirmaster Ricky Dillard & New Generation, jazz musician Marcus Johnson, singer J’Ta and the East of the River Steelband, a youth group, also performed.

The festivities close with a fireworks display at 8:30 p.m.

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Mike Murillo

Mike Murillo is a reporter and anchor at WTOP. Before joining WTOP in 2013, he worked in radio in Orlando, New York City and Philadelphia.

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