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Juneteenth declared a national holiday

Published: Jun. 18, 2021 at 7:43 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - Yesterday, President Joe Biden declared Juneteenth a federal holiday, giving national recognition to a day commemorating emancipation.

Juneteenth, also known as Emancipation Day, Black Independence Day and Jubilee Day, is the eleventh federal holiday and the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was created in 1983.

Juneteenth celebrates the end of slavery and commemorates June 19, 1865, when enslaved African Americans were informed that the Civil War had ended and they were free. This came more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.

People across the country celebrate the holiday with food and festivities, much like the Fourth of July. Here in Grand Junction, Black Citizens and Friends will be holding an event tomorrow at Lincoln Park by the playground tomorrow from 4-7 p.m. There will be speakers, art presentations, food trucks, music, and informational booths from various groups and supporters.

”Yesterday with Juneteenth being declared as a federal holiday is really exciting,” said Black Citizens and Friends board member Elisa Love. “It puts a little bit of extra excitement on this event. We were excited about it anyway but I think it’s important because there’s still a lot of people who don’t know what Juneteenth is. So it will help with the education of that.”

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