WASHINGTON - MAY 20: Civil War reenactor Kevin Douglass-Green, great-great-grandson of Fredrick Douglass, looks on during the unveiling ceremony of an original copy of the Emancipation Proclamation signed by President Abraham Lincoln at the African American Civil War Memorial Museum May 20, 2005 in Washington, DC. In the background is a Fredrick Douglass look-alike. The document, one of 48 copies signed by Lincoln on January 1, 1863, is privately owned and was unveiled for the public as part of the museum's Founders Day Celebration. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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.
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.