Galveston is Birthplace of Juneteenth
Although Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on Sept. 22, 1862, many slaves weren’t freed until the news reached their towns. The last slaves to be freed lived in the South and were freed on June 19, 1865 after the Emancipation Proclamation was read on a harbor pier in Galveston, Texas.
Galveston has been commemorating this event for many years and, in 1980, Texas was the first state to make Juneteenth an official state holiday. Juneteenth is now celebrated in more than 40 states throughout the country.
This year, Galveston will celebrate this occasion with a new festival, expanded parade and new history tours. The new events will complement the annual picnics, barbecue cook-offs, African American Heritage exhibits, concerts and reading of the Emancipation Proclamation in front of the official Juneteenth monument. You can find a full schedule of events at www.galveston.com/juneteenth. A majority of these events including the African American Museum Juneteenth Festival take place on June 15-16.
Some interesting facts regarding Galveston’s African American Heritage:
(Fact Source: Galveston Historical Foundation)
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