June 15, 2020
On January 1, 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation – an executive order issued by President Abraham Lincoln – freed "all persons being held as slaves" within the Confederate States. Although history records this as the day slavery in the rebelling states ended, it would be two and a half years – the Civil War had been over for two months – before word of it reached Texas and the last enslaved people in the Confederacy found out they were free. It was June 19, 1865, or Juneteenth, and today, it's the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.
Even a pandemic cannot stop events marking a day that forever changed the trajectory of American history. They just became individual activities or moved into cyberspace.
- STL History Live from the Missouri History Museum in St. Louis is going online Tuesday, June 16 at 11 a.m. for their program "Unfinished Liberation: Juneteenth, Then and Now."
- Celebrate with music at the Virtual Juneteenth Music Festival on Thursday, June 18.
- Columbia will mark the occasion with COMO Celebrates Juneteenth on Friday, June 19 with a drive-in opening ceremony followed by online programming from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
- JuneteenthKC's annual celebration moves online with a month of workshops, how-tos, recipes and reading lists … topping off the events with a JuneteenthKC Virtual Festival on Saturday, June 20.
- Tivoli at the Nelson-Atkins will present a JuneteenthKC event with the film directors of Who Killed Malcolm X on June 20.
- Jefferson City's 2020 Juneteenth celebration is also going online on Saturday, June 20 at 1 p.m.
- Join Trailnet, the Missouri Historical Society, 4theVille, Black Girls Do Bike and GirlTrek for a leisurely, social bike ride celebrating Juneteenth. This year's group ride will not take place in standard fashion. Instead of the traditional group ride event, it will be a scavenger hunt that you can complete on your own!