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Juneteenth: the oldest celebration of its kind

Juneteenth is celebrated today, but what does it celebrate?

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Sunday is Juneteenth Day in Illinois — and around the country.

Gov. Pat Quinn proclaimed Sunday as Juneteenth Day in Illinois at a ceremony Friday in Chicago.

According to the proclamation, Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration marking the end of slavery in the United States.

On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers told slaves in Galveston, Texas for the first time that they'd been freed two and a half years prior by the Emancipation Proclamation.

The celebration afterward was coined "Juneteenth."

Juneteenth Day events have been growing in popularity nationwide after initially being more common in the South.


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