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While many lingered to learn of this new employer to employee relationship, many left before these offers were completely off the lips of their former 'masters' - attesting to the varying conditions on the plantations and the realization of freedom.Even with nowhere to go, many felt that leaving the plantation would be their first grasp of freedom.Another, is that the news was deliberately withheld by the enslavers to maintain the labor force on the plantations.And still another, is that federal troops actually waited for the slave owners to reap the benefits of one last cotton harvest before going to Texas to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation.

Prayer services were also a major part of these celebrations.Juneteenth continued to be highly revered in Texas decades later, with many former slaves and descendants making an annual pilgrimage back to Galveston on this date.A range of activities were provided to entertain the masses, many of which continue in tradition today.Planetarium shows, hands-on crafts, lectures and musical performances round out the offerings.President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation - which had become official January 1, 1863.

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