Juneteenth on Delmarva

Juneteenth, celebrated on June 19th, is a significant holiday in the United States that commemorates the end of slavery. It marks the day in 1865 when Union Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, and announced General Order No. 3, which declared that all enslaved people in Texas were free. This announcement came more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which had officially outlawed slavery in the Confederate states on January 1, 1863.

Here are some opportunities to learn and celebrate the Holiday on the Delmarva Peninsula:


1. Visit the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument and National Historical Park. The Center houses permanent exhibits, a film, restrooms, a museum store, an information desk, and a research library, and it serves as the park’s primary visitor destination. More information can be found by clicking here.

2. Elevate Vocal Arts (EVA) is excited to present “Afro Beats,” a Juneteenth celebration of vocal music by Black composers at the Freeman Arts Pavilion on June 19th. For more information, click here.

3. Visit the Frederick Douglass Statue and take the driving tour. November 25, 1878, Frederick Douglass gave “Self-Made Men” speech to a segregated audience in the main courtroom of this courthouse. The statue of Douglass on the courthouse lawn, created by Jay Hall Carpenter and erected in 2011, portrays Douglass at the podium delivering this speech. Click here for more information.

For a more in-depth history on the Holiday, visit the “Historical Legacy of Juneteenth” article by the Smithsonian here.

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