Maryland Emancipation Day Celebrations

November 1, 1864, marked a pivotal day in Maryland’s history when a new state constitution freed all those held in bondage within its boundaries. The decision made Maryland one of the earliest states to abolish slavery – a full year ahead of the 13th Amendment.

In celebration of this landmark day – known as Emancipation Day in Maryland – there are a number of events happening across Montgomery County, Maryland. These include activities centered on sharing the history of slavery in Maryland through live demonstrations, guided tours, and educational exhibitions.

Maryland Emancipation Day at Josiah Henson Museum & Park

On October 28, 1830, the Henson family reached the Canadian shores embarking on a new life of freedom. In remembrance of this day, Josiah Henson Museum & Park will be free on Sunday, November 5, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Guided Tour and an Open House at Oakley Cabin

Take a step back in time and walk through the Oakley Cabin, a living history museum. Learn about the African-American community who lived and worked on the historic site from emancipation into the 20th century and how their story is woven into Montgomery County, Maryland.

Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park

Emancipation Day at Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park

Come out to Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park to commemorate Maryland Emancipation Day, a celebration of the end of slavery in the state of Maryland.  Admission to the Woodlawn Museum is free on November 4 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Guided Hikes on the Underground Railroad Experience Trail will be offered at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Advance registration is recommended by noon, the day before the hike.

Maryland Emancipation Day at Thomas Harper Cabin

Commemorate Maryland Emancipation Day at Harper Cabin on November 5 from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. Learn stories of the past with living history presentations, traditional African-American folktales by a master storyteller, and live musical performances.

Emancipation Day Open House at Button Farm Living History Center

The Button Farm Living History Center will observe its annual Maryland Emancipation Day Event on October 28th, from 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. Celebrate the day in 1864 when Maryland changed its constitution to abolish slavery six months before the end of the Civil War. The program includes exhibits and self-guided tours of our living history center. Snacks and cider are provided.

Looking for more ways to explore Montgomery County’s history and heritage sites? Check out The Perfect Weekend Getaway Itinerary for History Lovers and explore African-American Historic Sites.