This history is unique to Charleston. There has been continuous public celebration of Emancipation Day since 1866!
Most everyone in these United States recognizes the first day of January as New Year’s Day, but that’s not the only holiday being celebrated in our community on this date. Since 1866, the people of Charleston have celebrated the first of January as Emancipation Day—a holiday that includes a parade, orations, religious services, and feasting. If you’re not familiar with this event, it’s well worth your time to learn a bit more. It’s one of Charleston’s oldest public celebrations, and one that everyone should acknowledge and applaud. In fact, I believe Charleston’s annual celebration of Emancipation Day is a unique phenomenon that deserves national recognition.
Emancipation Day is a holiday observed on the first day of January to commemorate the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. The Proclamation, which President Abraham Lincoln issued on January 1st, 1863, ordered the immediate emancipation, or freedom, of all enslaved people living in territories controlled…
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