St. Louis is known for its elaborate Fourth of July events, with fireworks bursting in dozens of municipalities and most famously, over the Arch.
But many St. Louisans want that kind of attention also focused on a significant day for African-Americans and the nation: Juneteenth. It commemorates a June 19, 1865, Texas order that freed all enslaved Americans, two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.
Several local events mark the occasion. Many take place this weekend, including one organized by Tracy Johnson of south St. Louis, who said he can’t overemphasize the day’s importance.
“Besides an African-American’s birthday, that should be the next day they celebrate,” Johnson said.