Watch Night Celebration; 150th Anniversary of The Emancipation Proclamation

Join the Watch Night New Year’s Eve Celebration Committee, the Tinner Hill Heritage Foundation, the Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee and the City of Falls Church in a celebration to honor the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.

In 1862, just six miles from Falls Church, the Emancipation Proclamation was penned by President Abraham Lincoln at his cottage in Washington, D.C.  This important document presented the first crucial step in the long path to freedom for millions of enslaved people in the United States.  The document was anticipated to take effect on New Year’s Day of 1863.  On New Year’s Eve, 1862 many people came together, including enslaved humans,  free people of color and abolitionists of all faiths and cultures.  They gathered in anticipation and prayed, discussed and contemplated the meaning of this document.  New Year's eve has became known as “Watch Night” or “Freedom’s Eve” to many.
Enslaved and free men and women of color lived and worked in the Village of Falls Church, and they also eagerly anticipated Lincoln’s document. This portion of Watch Night will present a program that includes  a brief overview that sets the historical context,  a reading of the Emancipation Proclamation and short vignettes of the possible reactions of 1862 Falls Church residents; including, Harriet Brice, a free women of color and Frederick Foote, Jr., an enslaved man. The program will conclude with musical selections by the award-winning choir of Second Baptist Church, which was founded in the Village of Falls Church in 1870.

Location: The Falls Church Episcopal, 115 E. Fairfax Street

Falls Church, Virginia 22046


Monday, December 31, 2012, 7-8 pm
Welcome …..David Snyder, Vice Mayor, City of Falls Church
Brief overview-historical context of the period
David Snyder, Vice Mayor, and Falls Church Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee
Edwin B. Henderson Vice Chairman, Falls Church Historical Commission,  President of the Tinner Hill Heritage Foundation,
Ron Anzalone, Chairman of the Falls Church Historical Commission, Falls Church Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee

Musical selections by the dynamic choir of Second Baptist Church, directed by Rev. Kevin Thompson.  Second Baptist was founded in the Village of Falls Church in 1870.

Vignettes of Watch Night in Falls Church 1862:
John Read, abolitionist and lay minister
Frederick Foote, Jr., an enslaved man
Harriet Brice, a free women of color
Eliza Honesty, a free women of color
Ellen Scipio, an enslaved women
Musical selections by Second Baptist Church Choir of Falls Church, VA.  “Battle Hymn of the Republic”
Costumed Interpreters
Ron Anzalone, Marion Dobbins, Edwin B. Henderson, II, Nikki Graves Henderson, Inga Watkins, J. D.
Thank you for joining us in this celebration of freedom.
Following the program presentation, guests are invited to enjoy Hot Chocolate and a warm fire outside.

When the Emancipation Proclamation program concludes there are still plenty of festivities in the area:
Continue the Falls Church City Watch Night with family and fun filled activities (until midnight)
Monday, Dec. 31, 7 p.m. - Tuesday, Jan. 1, 12 a.m.
Intersection of Broad Street (Rt. 7) and Washington Street (Rt. 29); (703) 534-4942

Visit Galloway United Methodist Church, Watch Night Service,
begins at 11 pm
306 E. Annandale Road, Falls Church, VA 22042  |  Phone: (703) 241-5451

Visit Second Baptist Church for a Watch Night of food, fellowship and praise
begins 7:30 pm
6626 Costner Drive  Falls Church, VA 22042
(703) 533-3217


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