Helena plans several events to celebrate Juneteenth

Six Helena organizations – The Montana Historical Society, The Myrna Loy, Holter Museum, city of Helena, Alive at Five and Art Mobile – have planned four days of activities in celebration of Juneteenth.

Juneteenth, or June 19, commemorates the day in 1865 when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, to take control of the state and to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation, which had declared the end of slavery in places under Confederate control 2 1/2 years earlier.

Although the Emancipation Proclamation legally went into effect on the first day of 1863, its implementation was far from instantaneous or smooth.

Liberating enslaved persons across the Confederacy was a long process that often required the efforts of Union troops. The most geographically remote Confederate state, Texas, became the final stronghold for slavery, even after the Civil War ended. Many enslavers had migrated into Texas throughout the war, and by 1865, there were an estimated 250,000 enslaved in the state. 

On June 19, 1865, Union Troops arrived in Galveston, Texas—posting written announcements from Maj. General Gordon Granger that declared: “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are

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