Juneteenth event set for today

Gerren Smith
Staff Writer

A Juneteenth Celebration event will be held today beginning at 6 p.m. at Bicentennial Park near the Malvern/Hot Spring County library. The celebration will be an evening of fun with music, entertainment and food. The public also can enjoy playing card games and dominoes. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is mandatory for attendees to wear masks during the celebration, according to an event flyer.
Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States.
According to the history of Juneteenth, "It commemorates June 19, 1865— the day that Union Army Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger rode into Galveston, Texas, and told slaves of their emancipation. In accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free," Granger read to a crowd. That day came more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. Even after Lincoln declared all enslaved people free on paper, that hadn't necessarily been the case in practice. African Americans and others mark Juneteenth; also called Emancipation Day— much like the Fourth of July, with parties, picnics and gatherings with family and friends."