Nebraska’s first “Underground Railroad” site is celebrating the oldest known holiday commemorating the end of slavery this weekend.
The Mayhew Cabin and John Brown’s Cave Museum in Nebraska City will hold its annual Juneteenth Celebration on Saturday. Manager Bill Hayes says it’s a historically significant holiday.
Hayes says, “It started June 19th, 1865 when a Union general marched into Galveston, Texas, and announced to all the slaves that they were free by executive order and that executive order was the Emancipation Proclamation.”
Hayes says they’ll hold a special presentation commemorating the 150th anniversary of the signing of the document as a part of the festivities.
Hayes says this event is an African-American celebration of freedom and a holiday for everyone.
“Not just for the end of slavery to commemorate that and remember that but also to try and carry on the legacy and the idea of people like the Mahews,” Hayes says. “Their goal was to end slavery and abolish it, and to try and ensure freedom and equality and justice for everybody in the nation.”
Hayes says the the focus is on freedom.
“If you’re going to think of one word that defines this nation, a lot of people will use that word,” Hayes says. “It’s a big word and our site’s that story.”
The Juneteeth celebration will be held Saturday from 11 AM to 5 PM at the museum in Nebraska City.
For more details, call the museum at (402) 873-3115.
By Nate Gonner, KNCY, Nebraska City