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Juneteenth marks the day 155 years ago when slaves first heard they were free

Friday is Juneteenth – learn the history behind the holiday
Posted at 8:54 AM, Jun 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-19 12:31:07-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Friday is Juneteenth, a day that marks the end of slavery in The United States.

It dates back to June 19, 1865 when Union troops, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed in Galveston, Texas with news that the Civil War had ended, and that the enslaved were now free.

Learn the history behind the holiday here.

A 93-year-old woman is leading the push to make it a national holiday.

Target is the latest corporation to make it a company holiday.

Senator Mitt Romney tweeted about the holiday Friday morning.

He said, "Today, as we honor #Juneteenth and celebrate the freedoms it represents, we must also reaffirm our commitment to categorically and consistently reject racism and discrimination."

Sen. Romney went on to say, "We are all children of God, equal in His eyes."

Senator Chris Stewart also tweeted.

Sen. Stewart said "#Juneteenth should be a federal holiday—a day of celebration and education. I encourage all to reach out, listen, understand, and advocate for reform that serves to secure liberty and justice for ALL."

As our content-sharing partners at the Salt Lake Tribune report, this year's Utah Juneteenth Freedom and Heritage Festival in Ogden is going virtual, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Here's a look at last year's festival.