The Alachua County Library District invites the community to celebrate 150 years of freedom and commemorate the end of slavery at the 8th Annual Juneteenth Celebration on Saturday, June 20, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Cone Park Branch Library, 2801 E. University Avenue. This year marks the 150th anniversary of Juneteenth, a day or recognition and celebration of the end of African American slavery in the United States. This spirited community event features music, exhibits, food, refreshments and door prizes.
This celebration shares the history of Juneteenth from June 19, 1865, when the news that the Civil War had ended and all slaves were free finally reached Galveston, Texas. That was two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. Annual Juneteenth celebrations began in Texas and slowly spread across the country. In 1980, Texas became the first state to establish Juneteenth as an official state holiday. Currently, 36 states recognize Juneteenth as a holiday or day of special observance.