Juneteenth 2014 is celebrated over several days this week, and in many places. Its anniversary date is June 19, 1865, when Federal soldiers in Galveston, Texas, announced that all slaves were free. The 2 ½-year gap between the Emancipation Proclamation and Juneteenth was filled by civil war.
The event was celebrated annually in Galveston from then on, and as African Americans migrated all over the continent in the following years, they took the celebration with them. Juneteenth was always a big day in Texas, but as it spread, the desire to have it as a recognized holiday spread with it. Texas made it a state holiday in 1980, and since then, 43 states and the District of Columbia recognize Juneteenth as a holiday or special day of observance.
Community events nationwide enjoy important sponsorships from public and private institutions. The Wells Fargo Stagecoach will appear in a parade in Austin, Texas on the 21st, and in Richmond, Calif. on the 28th. Look for events near you.
Juneteenth is a grand celebration of American Independence, and with all the greatness of America inherent—that is, baseball and barbeque. Juneteenth is not something you should miss.