Juneteenth in Missouri

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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 a variety of events in St. Louis including an intergenerational wellness experience, musical performances, storytelling and community discussions.

JuneteenthKC is a community heritage celebration hosted annually in the 18th & Vine Historic District in Kansas City with an array of activities in June that include a parade and festival.

The Juneteenth – Jefferson City Heritage Celebration will hold the Juneteenth Heritage Festival at the Community Park and Jefferson City Community Center Grounds on Saturday, June 17. Enjoy food, music, games and more.

Weston will hold its Third Annual Juneteenth Heritage Jubilee where Weston’s historic Black ancestors will be honored for their grace, grit and ingenuity.

Clay County African American Legacy Inc. will hold a Juneteenth Celebration on June 9 and 10 in Liberty. The event will feature delicious barbecue, blues and education about the contributions Black citizens have made to the community.

Cape Girardeau will be recognizing the holiday with a Juneteenth Celebration, an event with activities for kids, music and food. Author and poet Ebony Stewart will attend to share inspiring words with festivalgoers.

Columbia is hosting a Juneteenth PBS Film Series each Wednesday in June to honor the history of Juneteenth. A parade will be held on the 17th ending with free food and entertainment in Douglass Park.