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It’s now an Illinois state holiday and a federal holiday.
On Saturday, people in Chicago and across the nation will be celebrating.
The DuSable Museum of African American History, which has been closed because of the COVID pandemic since March of 2020 reopens to the public just in time to celebrate Juneteenth.
The museum’s welcome back ceremony is one of many events marking the holiday.
Juneteenth is short for June 19th, the day in 1865 when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas to let all slaves know they were free.
The news came two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.
The day, also known as Freedom Day and Emancipation Day, is considered the longest running African American holiday that honors the end of slavery in the United States.
There are numerous events to celebrate the day being hosted by community groups, churches and others in the area.
Local businesses are doing their part.
A collaboration of Black-owned businesses are getting together for “Lemonadeland.”
“We are rebuilding our communities, and this event that’s taking place tomorrow is taking place in our community, and I think it’s amazing for businesses to have support network,” Chantell Benjamin of Sweet Skin of Mine said Friday.
On Thursday, Juneteenth officially became a federal holiday.
It is also a state, county and city holiday.
The museum opens at 11 a.m. Saturday. Its main auditorium remains closed until further notice. Online engagements, like the “Code Black” webcast series will continue.
The museum will be open Wednesdays-Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission will be free for the rest of June.
WATCH: DuSable Museum reopening with free admission in June
Mayor Lori Lightfoot tweeted about the holiday Saturday, saying, “This #Juneteenth, let’s make sure to not only honor and celebrate the many contributions that Black folks have and continue to make to this country, but also reignite our fight for equity, inclusion, and freedom for all.”
On June 19, 1865, a declaration of freedom was issued in Galveston, Texas that freed Black people who were still enslaved three years after the Emancipation Proclamation of 1862. In 1866, formerly enslaved Black people in Texas would organize the first #Juneteenth celebration. pic.twitter.com/goUOEdl7D8
— Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) June 19, 2021
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