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You are here News Domestic (USA) Galveston was home to the first Juneteenth. Here's how it'll celebrate this year

Galveston was home to the first Juneteenth. Here's how it'll celebrate this year

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First Juneteenth in Galceston

Americans will celebrate Juneteenth for the fourth year since it was recognized as a federal holiday in 2021. But for many families in Galveston, Texas, where the holiday originated, celebrations have been a mainstay for generations.

June 19th commemorates the fall of slavery in Galveston in 1865 — two years after the Emancipation Proclamation ordered the liberation of Black people held in the Confederacy.

“I have newspaper records of my great-grandfather — who was by this time, in 1885, he would have been 25 years old — and he was given the role of reading the Emancipation Proclamation at that celebration,” said 67-year-old Roy Collins.

Collins grew up in Galveston and said his family lineage in the city dates back to the end of the Civil War.

He says the holiday was always recognized and celebrated by Black people in the city for as far back as he can trace.

“I can remember my mother telling us stories about there being large gatherings in the city park and people would have roasted meats,” Collins recounts.

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