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Maryland Emancipation Day 2022 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 in 2022. These include activities centered on sharing the history of slavery in Maryland through live demonstrations, guided tours and educational exhibitions.

Freedom’s Footsteps 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 from Friday, October 28, to Sunday, October 30th from 10 am to 4 pm. Special activities are planned for all ages to reflect on the past and to consider ways to build a better future for generations to come.

Freedom Quilt Square Making at Oakley Cabin

Join quilting master, Mrs. Kyna Clemons in completing our “Freedom Quilt” by creating your own quilt squares on November 5th, from 12:00 pm -4:00 pm. Participate in archaeological hands-on activities, hearth cooking demonstrations and guided tours. Master storyteller, Gordon Parks presents traditional African folk tales, from 2:00 – 3:30pm.

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 5 from 10am-4pm. Guided Hikes on Underground Railroad Experience Trail will be offered at 10am and 1pm. Advance registration recommended by 12 pm day before hike.

Maryland Emancipation Day at Thomas Harper Cabin

Commemorate Maryland Emancipation Day at Harper Cabin on November 6 from 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm. Learn stories of the past with living history presentations by the Female Reenactors of Distinction (FREED), traditional African American folktales by master storyteller, Renee Emanuel and musical performances by Linda Harris.

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 29th, from 12:oo pm – 3:00 pm. 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 and slave cemetery as well as a circle gathering, on the meaning of freedom by Coming to the Table, and a keynote presentation by Susan Soderberg on her forthcoming book about self-liberator and abolitionist Josiah Henson.

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.