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The Original Juneteenth Order Resurfaces

National Archives locates the 1865 document
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 19, 2020 10:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – Today is Juneteenth, and this year marks 155 years to the day since 2,000 Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, bringing news that slavery had been abolished some two years earlier. There hadn't been enough Union troops in Texas to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation before that point, according to Juneteenth.com.

  • The National Archives on Thursday apparently unearthed the original military order, handwritten by a general's aide on June 19, 1865, informing Texans that "all slaves are free," per the Washington Post. It shares photos. The order was located in a formal order book kept in the Archives' Washington HQ.
  • Celebrations generally include music, dancing, storytelling, cookouts, and community, though special attention will be paid to physical distancing and hand-washing this year, per NPR and NBC News. There's also the raising of the Juneteenth flag, which is full of symbols. CNN decodes them.
  • Some 46 states and the District of Columbia recognize Juneteenth as an official state holiday or observance. Virginia followed some other states in making it a paid holiday this year. In New York, it's now a paid holiday for state employees. Employees at companies including Twitter, the NFL, Nike, JCPenney, Target, Uber and Lyft will also have the day off, per CNN.

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