Commonwealth Museum Opens Exhibit For State's First Official Juneteenth

Photo: The Commonwealth Museum

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — The Commonwealth Museum opened an exhibit on slavery in the Commonwealth as the state marked its first official celebration of Juneteenth.

The exhibit, titled "Juneteenth: Enslavement to Emancipation" opened Wednesday, and will display key documents from the history of slavery in Massachusetts.

Juneteenth celebrates the freeing of the last slaves in the United States, in 1865.

Some of the documents include a letter from Fredrick Douglass, a copy of a state law that prohibited judges from returning escaped slaves, and enlistment lists from the all-Black Massachusetts 54th Infantry Regiment that served in the Civil War.

The exhibit opened on Wednesday morning to remarks by Secretary of the Commonwealth Bill Galvin, and will run through the Juneteenth holiday on Saturday.

The state legislature's Black and Latino Caucus will host a flag raising on the State House steps at 6:00 PM on Wednesday to commemorate the first state celebration of the holiday. The U.S. Senate approved a bill to make Juneteenth a federal holiday on Tuesday.

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