Juneteenth 2020: The holiday that celebrates the end of slavery

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Juneteenth holiday is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States.

But if you haven't heard about it before, you're not the only one. Here's the history behind it.

President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation took effect Jan. 1, 1863, freeing the slaves who lived in Confederate states during the Civil War. That news took time to travel.

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It wasn't until June 19, 1865, when word of the proclamation was brought by the Union army to enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, making them among the last to be freed.

That's where the name Juneteenth comes from, it's a combination of June and Nineteenth.

On January 1, 1980, Juneteenth became an official state holiday in Texas and is growing in popularity around the country.

For many, it's like an Independence Day, where people barbeque, pop fireworks and fellowship with one another. It's become a day to celebrate freedom and achievement in the black community.
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