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Commemorating the end of slavery, Juneteenth originates in 1865 when, on June 19th, Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas on that date to share the news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free.
Juneteenth celebrates the enforcement of the Emancipation Proclamation reaching the westernmost Confederate state of Texas. The Proclamation went into effect in 1863, but this news was purposefully withheld from enslaved people until the arrival of Union troops in Galveston Bay, Texas on June 19, 1865. Juneteenth marks our country’s second independence day.