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Thu, 04.19.1866

Black Citizens Celebrate The End of Slavery in Washington D.C.

On this date in 1866, the Black citizens of Washington, D.C., celebrated the abolition of slavery.

A demonstration of 4,000 to 5,000 people assembled at the White House there they were addressed by (then) President Andrew Johnson. Marching past 10,000 cheering spectators, the procession, led by two Black regiments, continued up Pennsylvania Avenue to Franklin Square for religious services and speeches by prominent politicians.

A sign on top of the speaker's platform read: "We have received our civil rights. Give us the right of suffrage and the work is done."

Reference:

Archives.gov

The African American Atlas
Black History & Culture an Illustrated Reference
by Molefi K. Asanta and Mark T. Mattson
Macmillan USA, Simon & Schuster, New York
ISBN 0-02-864984-2

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