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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 Juneteenth – Jefferson City Heritage Celebration will celebrate with virtual and in-person events this year, including an Emancipation Program at 10 a.m. June 18 at the Soldiers Memorial Plaza on the campus of Lincoln University, followed by the Juneteenth Heritage Festival held at the Community Park and Jefferson City Community Center Grounds. Virtual events are scheduled for June 13-17.
Weston will hold its Second Annual Juneteenth Heritage Jubilee from 10 a.m. to noon June 18.
Clay County African American Legacy Inc. will hold a Juneteenth Celebration on July 17 and 18 in Liberty. The event will feature delicious barbecue, blues and jazz music.
Cape Girardeau will be recognizing the holiday at Juneteenth: Doin’ It Together, an event with activities for kids, music and food. Fort D Historic Site, also in Cape Girardeau, will honor the former slaves who served at the ford during the Juneteenth! festival.
History and community awareness, entertainment, and food are all on the agenda for the 2022 Juneteenth Celebration Event held in Waynesville’s Roubidoux Park.