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5 Fun Facts About June 19 In Oklahoma History

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

1. Juneteenth celebrations began in Oklahoma in 1903. Although the Emancipation Proclamation was signed in 1863, it wasn't until June 19, 1865, that enslaved people in Texas learned of their freedom. The holiday commemorates that day and its celebration began in Oklahoma in the early 1900s.

2. The Tulsa Race Massacre, which occurred on May 31-June 1, 1921, is closely tied to Juneteenth history in Oklahoma. The massacre left an estimated 300 Black residents dead and destroyed the thriving Greenwood District, known as Black Wall Street. It's now considered one of the worst incidents of racial violence in U.S. history.

3. In 1972, Oklahoma became one of the first states to officially recognize Juneteenth as a holiday. It was signed into law by Governor David Hall and the state has celebrated Juneteenth ever since.

4. Oklahoma City has hosted the state's largest Juneteenth celebration for over 30 years. The festival includes a parade, a rodeo, live music, and food vendors, and attracts thousands of visitors each year.

5. On June 19, 2020, Oklahoma made national headlines when President Donald Trump held a rally in Tulsa on that date. The event was originally scheduled for June 19th, which was seen as an insensitive choice given the city's history with the Tulsa Race Massacre, and was later moved to June 20th.
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