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June 19

Juneteenth marks the anniversary of June 19, 1865 when thousands of enslaved people received the news that they were emancipated after Union forces arrived in Galveston, Texas, to enact President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation signed more than two years earlier.

Free Juneteenth Single-Day Ticket

In observance of Juneteenth, The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is offering free admission to the Historic Area and the Art Museums on June 19 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

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Join Us for Special Programming

Learn About Juneteenth

Read the Timeline

Juneteenth: Slavery and the struggle for Emancipation

Visit Archaeological Sites

Custis Square Archaeology Project

Visit the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg

“I made this…”: The Work of Black American Artists and Artisans

“I made this…” celebrates the lives of eighteenth through twentieth-century Black American artisans and artists through the material culture they created. Objects from both Decorative Arts and Folk Art collections will be displayed in the same gallery contrasting the aesthetics and designs of men and women from different times, places, and backgrounds. These pieces represent the inspirations, resilience, and legacies of these talented makers.

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Community Programming

The Juneteenth Community Consortium

The Juneteenth Community Consortium is an association of organizations in the Greater Williamsburg Area that organized with a common goal to educate, commemorate, and celebrate the end of slavery in America.

Williamsburg Live

June 21-23 | Williamsburg Live offers a unique beautiful setting for an intimate music festival experience designed to appeal to all the senses.

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Additional Reading

Virtual Tour of the Randolph Site

Exploring African American History Through Music

Resources for Understanding Race and Inequality Through History

Slavery & Remembrance

Additional Resources

Learn even more about Juneteenth by exploring these resources from both our museum and other trusted institutions.

Whether you’re looking to read up on this topic before joining the conversation, or want some further reading afterward, here’s our recommended reading.

Juneteenth Resources from other Cultural Institutions
The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture offers The Historical Legacy of Juneteenth and the Library of Congress blog offers: The Birth of Juneteenth; Voices of the Enslaved
and "Emancipation Day in South Carolina . . .," an 1863 illustration from Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper.

The Library of Virginia’s The Uncommonwealth blog focuses on Why Juneteenth? while PBS features What is Juneteenth? from Henry Louis Gates Jr. Additionally, the National Archives presents an online exhibit The Emancipation Proclamation that provides context on that document issued January 1, 1863.

Colonial Williamsburg Resource Library
The Resource Library provides access to numerous resources that explore relevant themes such as citizenship, civics, and government using video, lessons, and interactive web activities.

Colonial Williamsburg Videos
Colonial Williamsburg’s YouTube Channel features 2020 productions Juneteenth at Custis Square and Before Juneteenth.

Further Reading
On Juneteenth. Annette Gordon-Reed.  New York, NY: Liveright Publishing Corporation, a division of W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2021.

For children:

All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom. Angela Johnson. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2014.

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