6th Annual Juneteenth Event – Come Celebrate American History

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Spady Cultural Heritage Museum will celebrate a momentous date in American history during its sixth annual Juneteenth event. Juneteenth originated as a celebration of the ending of slavery in Texas. On June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger and 1,800 troops of the Union Army arrived in Galveston, Texas, and announced that the Civil War had ended and all enslaved persons were free. Even though President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation had gone into effect on Jan. 1, 1863, freeing all enslaved persons in those states in rebellion against the United States, for various reasons, the decree had not yet taken effect in Texas. In Florida, Union Brigadier General Edward M. McCook established his headquarters at the Hagner residence, known today as the Knott House, in Tallahassee. Immediately following the Civil War, General McCook was responsible for announcing the Emancipation Proclamation. A series of celebratory events are normally scheduled in Tallahassee on and around May 20. “Juneteenth is recognized throughout the country with festivals, parades, family reunions and special events. Given the diverse nature of Delray Beach, we wanted to create something special for South Florida and invite all cultures to participate,” said Spady Museum Director Charlene Jones. “Our Juneteenth celebrates not only the national Juneteenth, which is also known as Emancipation Day, since news of freedom from slavery fell on the 19th of June nearly 150 years ago, but also May 20, 1865, which is Florida’s Emancipation Day.” The festival-style, family event on June 19 at the Spady Museum on Northwest Fifth Avenue will feature live music, barbeque by Ceasar’s Famous Ribs, interactive art sessions with local artist Sharon Koskoff and historical reenactments from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Admission is $10; children age 5 and younger are free. Free parking will be available. Other programs held at the Spady Museum during the summer include the Ride & Remember Trolley Tour, a two-hour, narrated tour aboard an air-conditioned trolley that takes riders through the historical neighborhoods of Delray Beach. The cost is $20 per person. Upcoming dates are June 13, July 11 and August 8 from 10 a.m.-noon. For details, call 561.279.8883 or go to www.spadymuseum.org. To learn more about Juneteenth, visit www.juneteenth.com.