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Learning More About Juneteenth

Juneteenth Freedom Day June 19

Juneteenth, celebrated on June 19, honors the end of slavery in the U.S. On June 19, 1865, U.S. federal troops went to Galveston, Texas to let enslaved people know that they were freed after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation by former President Abraham Lincoln two years prior. Although emancipation didn’t happen overnight for everyone — in some cases, enslavers withheld the information until after harvest season — celebrations broke out among newly freed Black people, and Juneteenth was born. That December, slavery in America was formally abolished with the adoption of the 13th Amendment.

It officially became a federal holiday on June 17, 2021. The Kirkwood School District’s calendar as approved by the Board of Education designates Juneteenth (June 19) as an official holiday for our District.

Here are some local opportunities to celebrate and learn more.