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New Orleans Events

Celebrating Juneteenth at Congo Square, New Orleans

The 19th of June is “Nineteenth,” a holiday begun in Texas and originating from President Lincoln’s proclamation that slaves were emancipated.   He made the announcement New Year’s Day, 1863, but in Galveston, Texas, the slaves didn’t get the word until June 19, 1865, when 2000 Union troops came to town to enforce the Proclamation.    Two years late is a long time for news to spread, even in the 19th century across Texas, and rumor has it that slaveholders didn’t let them know until then.     The slaves there began celebrations with barbecues and picnics at churches, and the tradition spread.

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