Santa Barbara- S County

Santa Barbara Juneteenth celebration marks a day that was long overdue

Commemoration held outside Santa Barbara Library

Juneteenth marks oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Organizers held a Juneteenth celebration in the Santa Barbara Library courtyard to commemorate the first known celebration of the end of slavery.

The included a table with a banner that said, "Why I Junteenth." People were invited to sign it and explain why.

Slavery in most states ended when then-President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, but news did not get to Texas that year, or the next.

Some slave owners went to Texas without letting on about what had happened.

On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas and let slaves know the war was over and they were free to celebrate their freedom.

Organizers of Wednesday's event made sure there was music, art, crafts, poetry and food -- plus library books on display to encourage children to read about the day's significance.

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