Union-backed musicians with the St. Louis Symphony have agreed to a new four-year contract, more than a year before the current contract expires.
The contract announced Monday by the symphony and the American Federation of Musicians Local 2-197 takes effect in September 2013 and goes through August 2017. It affects more than 90 musicians with the 132-year-old symphony, which is considered among the nation's oldest.
According to the Missouri State Archives, Juneteenth is officially recognized today in 41 states, including Missouri.
NPR Music provides this selection of "five recordings, picked by five musicians, which represent the triumphs and tribulations within the freedom struggle."
Today, June 19, is a holiday known as Juneteenth - the oldest commemoration of slavery's end. Though the Emancipation Proclamation declared the freedom of slaves in Confederate states on Jan. 1, 1963, it was only on June 19, 1865 (months after Confederate forces had surrendered) that Union soldiers landed at Galveston, Texas, to spread news of the war's end, and to enforce the proclamation in Texas.