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Contact: Kim Coons, 423-752-5213 x139
Fort Oglethorpe, GA: Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park invites the public to participate in a one hour walk at 2 pm on Saturday, June 20, 2015, that will explore the story and legacy of slavery and emancipation in Chattanooga. This program will begin at the entrance of Orchard Knob Reservation at the intersection of Ivy Street and Orchard Knob Avenue in Chattanooga. Participants are encouraged to wear comfortable clothing and footwear and to bring a bottle of water and a portable chair.
On June 19, 1865, Union General Gordon Granger, a veteran of the Campaign for Chattanooga, entered the city of Galveston, Texas, bringing word to the city's enslaved people that they were officially free. June 19, or Juneteenth as it became known, quickly evolved into a day of celebrations commemorating the end of slavery, not just in Texas but throughout the nation. In Chattanooga, more than 6,000 freed people crowded into the city and surrounding areas to forge new lives as citizens of the United States. It was the long awaited "Day of Jubilee." However, emancipation brought new challenges during and after Reconstruction. Hard won rights slowly eroded away and by the early 20th century, Chattanooga, like many southern communities, entered an era of prosperity but also of segregation and strife. The legacy of slavery, emancipation, and Reconstruction continued to shape the lives of Chattanoogans into the modern era.