On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas with the news that enslaved African-Americans were now free and that the Civil War had finally ended — two and a half years after U.S. President Abraham Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation.
Festivities ensued. And now more than 150 years later, June 19 or “Juneteenth” is a nationally celebrated holiday honoring the end of chattel slavery in the United States, as well as the continued fight for equality.
Last September, Hamilton County announced that Juneteenth would become an official paid holiday for county workers — meaning this June 18 (because Juneteenth itself falls on a weekend), all county employees have the day off to celebrate.
"I can't think of a more worthy holiday to have," said Commissioner Stephanie Summerow Dumas of the paid day off.
And Commissioner Dumas has this year sponsored a resolution for the county to raise a Juneteenth flag outside of the Hamilton County Courthouse on June 17.
The flag — which commemorates "the day in 1865 when the last of those who had been enslaved in Galveston, Texas learned of their freedom, two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued," per a release — will fly above the building, with an event starting at 11 a.m. It will be the county's first official Juneteenth flag-raising.
The Hamilton County Courthouse is located at 1000 Main St., Downtown.
This isn't the only flag raising in Greater Cincinnati to commemorate the holiday: A flag will also be raised atop Cincinnati City Hall at 10 a.m. June 18. The event, which will be hosted by Juneteenth Cincinnati, will feature the official Juneteenth flag designed by the National Juneteenth Observation Foundation.
For more ways to celebrate Juneteenth in Cincinnati, visit citybeat.com.