On January 1, 1863, President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation became official, freeing enslaved people in the Unites States. Over two years later, on June 19, 1865, Union troops arrived in Galveston, Texas with word that those enslaved were free and the Civil War was over.

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 to influence and overcome the resistance. - JUNETEENTH.com

In the years after Emancipation, stories about celebrations on that day in June spread across the country as newly freed people moved seeking lost family and opportunities. Eventually the tradition of Juneteenth arose as a day of celebration and remembrance.

The Juneteenth celebration was a time for reassuring each other, for praying and for gathering remaining family members. Juneteenth continued to be highly revered in Texas decades later, with many former slaves and descendants making an annual pilgrimage back to Galveston on this date. JUNETEENTH.com

In 1980 Texas made Juneteenth a state holiday, and over the last few decades the day has grown in popularity across the country. In 2018 forty-five states recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday. South Dakota, North Dakota, New Hampshire, Montana, and Hawaii are the states that don't. There are also efforts underway to make it a national holiday.

Juneteenth today, celebrates African American freedom and achievement,while encouraging continuous self-development and respect for all cultures. As it takes on a more national, symbolic and even global perspective, the events of 1865 in Texas are not forgotten, for all of the roots tie back to this fertile soil from which a national day of pride is growing. JUNETEENTH.com

The Sioux Falls community organisation Establishing Sustainable Connections is hosting a Juneteenth celebration on Saturday June, 23 in Terrace Park Park in Sioux Falls, from 11:00 AM until 5:00 PM.

On Facebook the organizers say, "Community members of Sioux Falls are celebrating this day of freedom, and we would like you to participate. This year's theme is focused on friends and family as we are organizing a big day of fun and entertainment filled with family reunion style games, education, music, kickball tournament and much more." There will also be food trucks, inflatables, face painting, vendor booths, and live music.

‎Establishing Sustainable Connections‎ to Juneteenth 2018
‎Establishing Sustainable Connections‎ to Juneteenth 2018


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