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A view of Galveston from the International Space Station. The colors are faded: the land is a muted green, while the water is a hazy blue.

Celebrating Juneteenth

This image of Galveston was taken on Nov. 23, 2022, from the International Space Station as it orbited 224 miles above Earth. While President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, word that enslaved people were free did not reach Galveston until well into 1865. When Union troops arrived that year to share the news, spontaneous celebrations broke out in African American churches, homes, and other gathering places. As years passed, the picnics, barbecues, parades, and other celebrations that sprang up to commemorate June 19th became more formalized as freed men and women purchased land, or “emancipation grounds,” to hold annual Juneteenth celebrations.

Image Credit: NASA

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