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Juneteenth: Lighting the Way for Freedom

Juneteenth commemorates the day that the news of freedom finally reached previously enslaved people throughout the United States. On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers landed at Galveston, Texas, with news that the war had ended. Although the Emancipation Proclamation had been issued two and a half years earlier, some enslavers had purposely never told laborers that they were free.

For the next century, celebrations and recognition of Juneteenth ebbed and flowed in Texas and beyond. Some civil rights activists, for instance, wore Juneteenth freedom pins in the 1960s. In 2021, June 19 was designated an annual federal holiday across the U.S. Today Juneteenth celebrates African American freedom and achievement, along with respect for all cultures.

Lighting the Way for Freedom

On Juneteenth 2020, Scenic Hudson lit up the Sojourner Truth Trail at Shaupeneak Ridge in a silent ceremony to honor Truth and the unimaginable hardships endured by enslaved people. Scenic Hudson plans to share the video annually as a Juneteenth tradition.