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Juneteenth: What exactly is it?

You may have seen ‘Juneteenth’ pop on your phone while checking your calendars this morning.

As it turns out, Juneteenth is an important day in history. It’s a day that celebrates the abolishment of slavery in the United States of America.

Although it’s an unofficial holiday, many people don’t know what Juneteenth is about, or the meaning behind it.

Here’s the Backstory

On June 19, 1865, more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which ultimately freed 3.1 million slaves in Confederate states, Union Army Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger ordered his soldiers to Galveston, Texas to spread the word that slavery had ended in America.

Here’s where things get interesting, during that time over 250,000 slaves didn’t know slavery officially ended once President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation two years prior.

Now 153 years later, some cities in the U.S. continue to celebrate Juneteenth in massive numbers.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin is celebrating it’s 47th ‘Juneteenth Festival.’

Cities and towns throughout Florida celebrate Juneteenth the weekend leading up to the holiday, but we didn’t find a lot happening in SWFL.

Do you want to see more Juneteenth celebrations in SWFL?

Additional reporting by Jalynn Henderson and Terrace Myles