Every year on June 19th, Juneteenth is celebrated to commemorate the ending of slavery in the United States. Led by Major General Gordon Granger, Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, who brought news that the Civil War had ended, and "General Order No. 3" declared the total emancipation of those who were enslaved.
Juneteenth was first declared a state holiday in Texas in 1980. By 2014, 43 of the 50 states recognized Juneteenth as either a state holiday or a ceremonial holiday.
While Juneteenth marks the end of legal slavery in the United States, it also serves a day of reflection and education. Each year the Forest Preserve District hosts a Juneteenth celebration at Sand Ridge Nature Center. Visitors are invited to celebrate freedom, family and country with Underground Railroad interactive hikes, sample recipes from the period and crafts.