Tax day is undeniably one of the least popular days of the year. In fact, according to WalletHub, one in five Americans would get an “IRS” tattoo if it meant they would never have to pay taxes again, and 6% of Americans would be willing to name their firstborn child “Taxes” in exchange for never paying them — talk about extreme.
As you prepare your taxes keep in mind that Tax Day is April 18 this year instead of April 15. April 15 falls on a Saturday this year, and IRS offices are closed the following Monday to honor Emancipation Day in Washington D.C.
Unless you live in Washington D.C., you may be unfamiliar with Emancipation Day and how it is observed. Emancipation Day is a holiday observed in the District of Columbia to mark the anniversary of the signing of the Compensated Emancipation Act, which President Abraham Lincoln signed on April 16, 1862. The signing of this document granted freedom to over 3,000 enslaved people and compensated slave owners for their release. D.C.’s slaves were freed about nine months before the President signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which effectively freed slaves in the confederate states.
According to the White House Historical Association the celebratory parades were organized by the black elite of the city, and began in 1866 as a demonstration of African American pride and political strength. However, demonstrations stopped in 1901 due to segregation and class divisions within the African American community.
Smaller events were held throughout the 1980s and 1990s by local organizers in an effort to commemorate Emancipation Day. D.C. local, Loretta Carter Haynes, was able to revive the parades in 2002 as a result of her research, lobbying, and leadership. Emancipation Day was officially named a public holiday in the District of Columbia in 2005.
A wide range of events such as exhibitions, public discussions, presentations of historic documents, laying of wreaths, poetry readings, and concerts are spread throughout the month of April in an effort to educate people about the history behind the municipality of the District of Columbia and slavery in particular. This year the city will host a breakfast, a parade, a concert, and finish the celebration off with a fireworks display.
As a result, enjoy your few additional days to get your taxes filed, and remember, it might not be worth the tattoo after all.