Juneteenth — also known as Emancipation Day and Freedom Day — is June 19. On that day in 1865, enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas, were freed with the arrival of federal troops. That day was more than two years after Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation during the Civil War.
Slavery was not abolished nationwide until December 6, 1865, when enough states had ratified the 13th Amendment for it to become law. Juneteenth, however, has come to symbolize the end of slavery. In May, Illinois became one of several states to make Juneteenth a state holiday.
“Few documents in all of American history carry the weight of the Emancipation Proclamation. We are proud to share it with the public and celebrate its connection to such a joyous holiday,” Melissa Coultas, acting executive director of the library and museum, said in a news release.
When the proclamation is displayed in the Treasures Gallery, windows along one side of the museum will feature a display about the history of Black Americans and their fight for full citizenship. The display includes a timeline from 1787 to 2021, covering slavery in Illinois, a supposedly free state, a riot that targeted Blacks in Springfield and the first Juneteenth celebration in the city.