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5 Fun Facts About June 19 In Massachusetts History

---Learn Every Day: MA Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history ma To: 618-270-4005---

1. In 1865, Juneteenth was celebrated for the first time in Massachusetts. This holiday commemorates the end of slavery in the United States when Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865, to announce that the Civil War had ended and all slaves were free.

2. On June 19, 1953, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were executed at the Federal Correctional Institution in Ossining, New York for their role in espionage during the Cold War. The couple was accused of supplying classified information about nuclear weapons to the Soviet Union.

3. In 1978, a group of protesters occupied the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant in New Hampshire that was under construction. The action was part of a larger movement against nuclear energy that had gained momentum after the Three Mile Island accident the year before. The occupation lasted several days and resulted in the arrest of hundreds of people, including Massachusetts residents.

4. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court issued a landmark decision on June 19, 2003, in the case of Goodridge v. Department of Public Health. The court ruled in favor of same-sex couples' right to marry, making Massachusetts the first state to legalize same-sex marriage.

5. On June 19, 2019, the Boston Red Sox announced that they would change the name of their signature street Fenway Park Way to Jersey Street to honor former Red Sox player and legend, David Ortiz. Ortiz's jersey number, 34, was retired by the team in 2017.
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