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What you should know about Juneteenth

By CNN Staff

Published June 19, 2019

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What is Juneteenth?

It started as the celebration of emancipation in Texas and then spread to other states. The June 19th declaration now commemorates the end of slavery in the US.

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Here are some facts you should know about Juneteenth, also called Emancipation Day.

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On Jan. 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the final Emancipation Proclamation, freeing those enslaved.

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However, it wasn’t until over two years later on June 19, 1865, that slaves in Texas were notified by Union Civil War soldiers of the abolition of slavery.

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3,953,760

estimated number of slaves were in the US in 1860.

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500,000

estimated number of free black people were in the US in 1860. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, about half were in the North and half were in the South.

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Today, African Americans and others mark the anniversary like the Fourth of July, with parties, picnics and gatherings with family and friends.

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How else can you commemorate the ending of slavery?

  • Learn more about the road to emancipation at museums such as the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

  • Attend a Juneteenth celebration near you.

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