Frederick Douglass Bicentennial

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News Release Date: February 1, 2018

Contact: Pya Langley, 202-619-7158

Grand kickoff for yearlong commemoration at Douglass’s home in Washington, D.C.  

WASHINGTON— The National Park Service invites you to join us during Black History Month at Frederick Douglass National Historic Site in historic Anacostia, Washington, D.C., to honor 200 years of the life and legacy of Frederick Douglass. On Saturday, February 17 and Sunday, February 18, 2018, join us as we kickoff a yearlong bicentennial birthday commemoration.

The weekend festivities will offer visitors the opportunity to step inside the world of Frederick Douglass, “The Lion of Anacostia,” and experience how he lived his life as a global activist and revolutionary leader.

Hear remarks at Saturday’s opening ceremony from Kenneth Morris, Douglass’s third great-grandson, on the importance of his ancestor’s legacy. Learn the history of Douglass’s journey through life and of the people who were instrumental to him, from award-winning author and historian David Blight on Saturday and Sunday and from Leigh Fought, renowned historian and scholar, on Sunday.

Catch a glimpse of a rare piece of history with a temporary exhibit of seldom seen Douglass artifacts, including his Bible and cherished souvenirs from his international travels. Travel back in time with living history actors dressed as Douglass and be captivated by dramatic performances from skilled actors and student orators performing excerpts from Douglass’s acclaimed speeches. Jr. Rangers will also experience a unique adventure with a bicentennial themed program that offers a limited edition bicentennial Jr. Ranger badge, plus many more activities that the whole family can enjoy.  

The bicentennial year of Frederick Douglass’s birth offers the opportunity to highlight and commemorate how Douglass’s contributions to society continue to affect people in the Anacostia neighborhood where he lived, the nation and the world.

To continue the bicentennial commemoration, the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site will offer special events and educational programming at the site and at local schools throughout 2018 and early 2019, to foster awareness and appreciation of Douglass’s accomplishments.

All programs and events are free and open to the public. Public transportation is highly recommended for the weekend kickoff event. Parking will be difficult to find. A free shuttle will be provided from the Anacostia Metro Station to the historic site from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, February 17, and from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, February 18.

For more information on the weekend programming and the bicentennial year of Frederick Douglass visit


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Last updated: February 2, 2018

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