A Juneteenth Celebration

Sunday, June 23, 2013
Wartrace artist Morganthau Gross, Sr. (left) discusses his woodcarvings with two potential customers. See additional photos at http://www.t-g.com/gallery/juneteenth2013/ (T-G Photo by Sherry Miller)

Designated as a time for "coming together for a fun-filled day," Shelbyville's Juneteenth celebration was just that.

Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated event commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.

Although President Lincoln proclaimed slavery to be illegal in 1863, it was not until June 19, 1865 that the proclamation was fully enforced. It was that date in 1865 that Major General Gordon Granger's Union regiment landed at Galveston, Texas, and slavery's last stronghold was ended.

June 19 (shortened by speech to "Juneteenth") has become a time for celebration, not just in Texas where it began, but across the nation.

Bedford County's recognition of Juneteenth was held at HV Griffin Park and the Shelbyville Recreation Center. The activities included African American history displays, games, food, horseback riding, and vendor and artisan booths.

The event was sponsored by the Gilliland House Resource Center with the assistance of the Shelbyville chapter of the NANBPW Club. Proceeds will benefit the Gilliland House, a multicultural museum and educational center.

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