DC actually already had an Emancipation Day as a public holiday on April 16 to celebrate the DC Compensated Emancipation Act, which freed DC slaves nine months before the Emancipation Proclamation. Other places have also had their own emancipation day celebrations to celebrate emancipation in their own states.I think Juneteenth just caught on because it had the best developed traditions and the best name recognition. A lot of black Texans moved elsewhere and took the holiday with them, from there it just took on a life of its own. It’s the most organically developed of all these slavery emancipation holidays.I lived in Oklahoma as a kid. I learned about Juneteenth when I moved to Texas as a Funny I Am The Youngest Twin, Rules Don’t Apply To Me T-Shirt . At that time (late 80s/early 90s), Juneteenth was just a Texas thing. I don’t know that it was ever celebrated with BBQs and things, but it was marked and we learned about the significance in school. I moved to the DC area two years ago. I was surprised to discover Juneteenth had spread outside of Texas.
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