Masks required in Abakanowicz Research Center; optional for rest of Museum MORE


The story of the United States’ independence is well documented. On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress unanimously adopted the Declaration of Independence, asserting “all men are created equal” and are endowed with certain inalienable rights. However, these rights and the equality of citizenship were denied to those who were enslaved and of African descent. For them, freedom did not arrive with independence from the British; they would have to wait nearly one hundred more years for it. 

On June 19, 1865, news that the Civil War had ended and of the Emancipation Proclamation, which had been issued more than two years before, finally reached Galveston, Texas. This event is now commemorated as Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, considered the oldest celebration commemorating the ending of chattel enslavement in the United States.

Abraham Lincoln’s order to affix the US seal to the Emancipation Proclamation, January 1, 1863. CHM, ICHi-032499

Join us this Juneteenth at 4:00 p.m. for On American Independence and Freedom: The Juneteenth Story, a free virtual discussion between CHM assistant curators Julius L. Jones and Brittany Hutchinson and Field Foundation fellow Angela Tate on the Legacy of Juneteenth, the event’s connections to Chicago, and the importance of remembering the story today.

Virtual seats for this free event are limited, please register to secure your spot. Upon registration, Zoom meeting information will be emailed to you.

Register now.

Chicago History Museum Sharing Chicago Stories