Today, June 19th is also referred to as Juneteenth.  Why do we celebrate this, what exactly does it mean?

Sarah Mueller, WJON

First, Juneteenth is a combo of June and 19th.  And today there is a world-wide celebration, or at least recognition of the day.

Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States.  Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19ththat the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation - which had become official January 1, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on the Texans due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new Executive Order. However, with the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865, and the arrival of General Granger’s regiment, the forces were finally strong enough toinfluence and overcome the resistance.

What does Juneteenth mean for Minnesota?  There are a few activities going on today and you can check them out here. 

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