Home   Calendar   Holidays   the United States   Emancipation Day
Flag for USA

Emancipation Day in the United States

Residents of Ohio commemorate the abolishment of slavery on Emancipation Day, which falls on September 22. Some other states have similar celebrations, but they fall on different dates.

Is Emancipation Day a Public Holiday?

Emancipation Day is not a public holiday. It falls on Sunday, September 22, 2019 and most businesses follow regular Sunday opening hours in the United States.

The Emancipation Proclamation went into effect on January 1, 1863.

©iStockphoto.com/lauradyoung

What Do People Do?

Emancipation Day has been observed annually since 1863 in Gallia County in south-eastern Ohio, so this celebration is most widely known and usually attracts more than 2000 visitors from Ohio and the rest of the United States. Today's celebration includes concerts, historic re-enactments, food and a wide range of other activities.

Public Life

Emancipation Day is not a public holiday in Ohio, but it is a state-wide observation. Offices, banks, businesses and schools are normally open, although this may vary in some cases.

Background

On September 22, 1862, Abraham Lincoln issued a preliminary proclamation, which required all states to abandon slavery within 100 days. It declared all slaves “thenceforth and forever more free”. The Emancipation Proclamation went into effect on January 1, 1863.

The abolishment of slavery in the United States is celebrated on different dates in other parts of the country. For example, Texas commomorates the liberation of the last remaining slaves on Juneteenth, while residents of Washington DC celebrate Emancipation Day on April 16 each year, remembering the signing of the Compensated Emancipation Act on April 16, 1862.

Emancipation Day Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday TypeArea
2015TueSep 22Emancipation DayLocal observanceOhio
2016ThuSep 22Emancipation DayLocal observanceOhio
2017FriSep 22Emancipation DayLocal observanceOhio
2018SatSep 22Emancipation DayLocal observanceOhio
2019SunSep 22Emancipation DayLocal observanceOhio
2020TueSep 22Emancipation DayLocal observanceOhio
2021WedSep 22Emancipation DayLocal observanceOhio
2022ThuSep 22Emancipation DayLocal observanceOhio
2023FriSep 22Emancipation DayLocal observanceOhio
2024SunSep 22Emancipation DayLocal observanceOhio
2025MonSep 22Emancipation DayLocal observanceOhio

You might also like

June Solstice

June Solstice

The June solstice is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere & the shortest day in the Southern Hemisphere. more

Juneteenth

Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day and Emancipation Day, is a holiday or observance in many US states to celebrate the anniversary of the abolition of slavery in Texas on June 19, 1865. more

The American Bald Eagle is a national symbol in the United States.

American Eagle Day

Observed annually on June 20 in 47 American states, American Eagle Day is an unofficial holiday that celebrates the removal of the American Bald Eagle from a list of "endangered species". more