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Juneteenth: the oldest celebration of its kind

Juneteenth is celebrated today, but what does it celebrate?

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.

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

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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.