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Juneteenth Celebration In Arlington Observes End Of Slavery

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By Cathy Carter

Juneteenth, also known as Emancipation Day, is a holiday honoring African-American heritage. It commemorates the liberation of slaves in the state of Texas and a local celebration takes place today in Arlington, Virginia.

June 19, 2010 marks the 145th anniversary the celebration of Juneteenth. It's the oldest national observance of the ending of slavery in the U.S.

The holiday is officially recognized in the District of Columbia and 36 states, including Virginia.

"We do want our children to know about our history," says Joszet Johnson, who organized today's festivities in Arlington. "Knowing your history brings pride also in who you are."

Johnson grew up in Macon, Georgia and she says Juneteenth was a big deal there. She's hoping today's event will pique interest among her fellow Arlingtonians.

"This is such a diverse community and we learn from each other," she says.

Activities will be held at The Walter Reed Recreation Center and includes a tribute to 16 of Arlington's most prominent black citizens.

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