Residents from across Merced gathered together in front of the Merced County Courthouse Museum for a Juneteenth celebration last Friday, June 19.
The special day of celebration marks the announcement that tens of thousands of African-Americans in Texas had been emancipated, closing the door on one of the last chapters of slavery in the United States on June 19, 1865.
The announcement was made in Galveston, Texas when Union soldiers landed in the city with news that the Civil War was finally over and slavery across the nation had ended.
It came two-and-a-half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation; however, since that proclamation was made during the Civil War, it wasn’t until the end of the war that the Executive Order was enforced in the southern part of America.
Last week, Merced residents celebrated the special day with displays of local artwork, poets, and live musical performances during a scheduled event organized by the Merced Black Alliance.