Skip to main content

Father's Day, 'Juneteenth' celebrations coincide Sunday

By the CNN Wire Staff
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • "Juneteenth" marks June 19, 1865, the day the last slaves were freed
  • An ongoing campaign seeks to establish it as a national holiday

(CNN) -- In 36 states and more than 200 cities, Americans on Sunday will have something more to celebrate than their fathers.

It is also "Juneteeth," the 146th anniversary of the day news of President Abraham Lincoln's proclamation ending slavery in the United States finally reached the city of Galveston, Texas.

Union Gen. Gordon Granger delivered the news.

Juneteenth is the oldest known U.S. celebration commemorating the end of slavery, according to the National Registry.

Parades, picnics, concerts and other festivities are scheduled to take place in cities across the country. In Washington, leaders of the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation are scheduled to call on Congress to recognize the annual event as an official American holiday.

Advocates have pushing to make Juneteenth a national holiday for more than a decade.

On June 18, 2009, members of the U.S. Senate marked the holiday by passing a resolution apologizing for the wrongs of slavery and segregation.