‘America’s Second Independence Day’

Published 5:25 pm Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Smithfield’s Schoolhouse Museum celebrated Juneteenth with a June 19 presentation at Main Street Baptist Church, and with food and vendors in the church foyer.

Virginia is in its third year of recognizing Juneteenth as an official state holiday, which marks the date in 1865 that enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, learned the Civil War had ended and that the Emancipation Proclamation had made them free two years earlier.

The Schoolhouse Museum, located across the street from the church, documents early 20th century African American public education. Above, Barbara Wiggins inspects handmade soaps sold by Diana Gaston.

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