On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued an executive order – the Emancipation Proclamation – freeing "all persons being held as slaves" within the Confederate States. Although history records this as the day slavery ended, it would be two and a half years before word of it reached Texas, and the last enslaved people in the Confederacy learned that they were free. The news was delivered on June 19, 1865.
Today, Juneteenth – celebrated annually on June 19 – is the oldest national commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States.
A number of communities across the Show-Me State will celebrate Juneteenth with a variety of events this year.
The Missouri Historical Society will observe Juneteenth throughout the month of June with virtual and in-person events in St. Louis including art exhibits, musical performances, storytelling and community discussions
JuneteenthKC is a community heritage celebration hosted annually in the 18th & Vine Historic District in Kansas City with array of activities in June that include a parade and festival.
The George Washington Carver National Memorial, located near Diamond, will host a Juneteenth Program at 1 p.m. June 20. The event will include information about national park sites with African American themes.
The Juneteenth – Jefferson City Heritage Celebration will celebrate its 20th anniversary with virtual and in-person events this year, including an Emancipation Program at 10 a.m. June 19 at the Soldiers Memorial Plaza on the campus of Lincoln University, followed by the Juneteenth Motorcade "The Journey for Justice Continues." Virtual events are scheduled for June 14-19.
Columbia will host a Juneteenth Celebration Block Party from noon to 2 p.m. June 19 at Douglass Park. The event will include a Juneteenth program, live music, lawn games and food.
Weston will hold its First Annual Juneteenth Celebration from 10 a.m. to noon June 19 at Ben Holladay Park.