Officials also plan songs, poetry and speeches during an event at the Thompson Center in Chicago. Juneteenth traces its history back to the day that slaves in Galveston, Texas, learned the Civil War had ended and they were free.
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The holiday is celebrated in 36 states and is also called Freedom Day or Emancipation day.
Officially, the anniversary is June 19th, but officials are celebrating a day early, on Friday the 18th.
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Published at 7:28 AM CDT on Jun 18, 2010 | Updated at 7:45 AM CDT on Jun 18, 2010