What is Juneteenth and why is it so important?

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BECKLEY, WV (WVNS)– Juneteenth is officially a federal holiday in the United States, a reason many did not have to go to work. President Joe Biden announced on June 17, 2021, he signed a legislation making it a holiday.

Juneteenth is celebrated on June 19. On that day in 1865, union soldiers brought news to the last slaves in Galveston, Texas that they were free. However, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation two years prior to Juneteenth.

Tina Pannell serves as president of the Beckley Juneteenth Festival, which is scheduled for Saturday.

“I think it is ongoing education regarding African American history,” Pannell said. “It is our duty to continue the education of all American history at the end of the day.”

For Beckley, a Juneteenth Festival is scheduled from 1-4 p.m. Saturday at the Southern West Virginia Youth Museum.

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