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What is Juneteenth? Western Washington honors a milestone in Black history

Juneteenth has been a holiday for generations. It's a time of celebration, but it's also a time of remembrance.

Juneteenth, which is celebrated on June 19, honors a milestone in Black history in the United States.

The Emancipation Proclamation, freeing all slaves in the United States, was issued by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863. 

But the news didn’t reach slaves in Texas until June 19, 1865, when General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston. One of Granger's first actions was to read General Order No. 3, which proclaimed "all slaves are free."

The reaction to the news was jubilation, and celebrations – coined Juneteenth – continued in the U.S. for decades. 

However, it would take until 1980 for Texas to become the first state to declare it a holiday. Now 47 states, including Washington, and the District of Columbia recognize it.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture now calls Juneteenth “our country’s second Independence Day.”

RELATED: These companies are giving their employees time off for Juneteenth

Here's a list of some Juneteenth events across western Washington on June 19, 2020:

Juneteenth rally, Snohomish County Courthouse Amphitheater, Everett. 1-3 p.m. Snohomish County Indivisible and Washington State Indivisible will rally and march in response to a call to action by the movement for Black lives.

Stop Killing Us March, Wapato Park, Tacoma. 12-5 p.m. Organizers say it will be a peaceful protest through the streets of downtown Tacoma.

Juneteenth/Pride celebration, People's Park, Tacoma. 3-10 p.m. The Tacoma Mutual Aid Collective will host this "block party style" event featuring an open mic for performers and free food from three Black-owned restaurants.

Juneteenth black out at the "CHOP," Capitol Hill, Seattle. 8 a.m.-8 p.m. The Capitol Hill Organized Protest plans a series of events focused on Black healing and community.

Juneteenth port shutdown, march and rally, downtown Seattle, 9 a.m. The ILWU Coast Longshore Division will stop work for eight hours to observe Juneteenth. The union will also march to a 10 a.m. rally at Pier 46 and then march to the state Department of Corrections.

Juneteeth Next Steps Rally, Judkins Park, Seattle. 1 p.m. The rally hopes to educate people about change amid the Black Lives Matter movement. Speakers will include local, state and faith leaders, nonprofit advocates for communities of color and families impacted by police use of deadly force.

Justice for Stolen Lives! Juneteenth Freedom March, 23rd Ave. East and East Madison St., Seattle. 2-11 p.m. Hosted by the King County Equity Now Coalition, the event will feature a teach-in, march and musical performances.

Juneteenth Week celebrations, virtual. 11 a.m.-1 p.m. A coalition, including Black Lives Matter - Seattle/King County and the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle, are hosting a series of online events to celebrate Juneteenth. Friday's virtual sessions include cooking with Edouardo Jordan, throat chakra for children and a presentation from the Traveling African American Museum.

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