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AP Explains: Juneteenth marks when last slaves were freed

3 months 1 week 3 days ago Thursday, June 18 2020 Jun 18, 2020 June 18, 2020 1:23 PM June 18, 2020 in News - AP Texas Headlines

By TERRY TANG
Associated Press

Juneteenth commemorates when all enslaved African Americans learned they were free 155 years ago. Now, with support growing for the racial justice movement, 2020 may be the year the holiday reaches a new level of recognition. Juneteenth is a blend of the words June and nineteenth. It's the day in 1865 when Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, to inform still-enslaved African Americans that all black people were free. Juneteenth celebrations began the next year in Galveston and eventually reached other states. While the coronavirus pandemic is moving many celebrations online this year, states, cities and companies are moving to make the day an official holiday.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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