Join us for Juneteenth 2021 as we virtually honor our ancestors and celebrate African American history, food, music, faith, family, and freedom!
What is Juneteenth?
"The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and free laborer." - General Order No. 3, read by Major General Gordon Granger to the people of Texas
Juneteenth is the oldest nationally-celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. Marking the date that the last enslaved people learned of their freedom, the month of June and the nineteenth day were combined to form the term "Juneteenth." From its Galveston, Texas, origin in 1865, observance of Juneteenth as African American Emancipation Day has spread across the United States, and is an official holiday recognized in 46 States and the District of Columbia.
A Virtual Celebration
Montpelier, OCAAHS, and OCA have created a website featuring the performers, vendors, reenactors, and historical information that make up the core of the Juneteenth Celebration. Learn about African American history at Montpelier and throughout Orange County; celebrate Juneteenth by watching and interacting with performers, musicians, historical interpreters, and artists; support local artists and businesses by buying from Juneteenth vendors; reunite with family, teammates, scouts, and friends; and connect with local community groups. The website can be found at https://ocaahsjuneteenth.org/.
More Virtual and Onsite Offerings
As part of Juneteenth, Montpelier will host free virtual events: a book talk on June 2 in partnership with the National Archives, with Pulitzer Prize-winner Annette Gordon-Reed, who will discuss her book On Juneteenth; and a book talk on June 10 with teacher, librarian, and historical fiction writer Glenda Armand. On June 24, we will host a virtual screening of the documentary Resilience, Recovery, and Rebirth: Sustaining Hope in Trying Times. More events may be added, so check our website and social media regularly for updates!
On June 19, Montpelier will be offering free Enslaved Community walking tours with Dr. Mary Furlong-Minkoff, Montpelier’s Curator of Archaeological Collections. Also on June 19, the award-winning exhibition The Mere Distinction of Colour, the South Yard structures, and the Gilmore Cabin will be open and staffed. The walking tours and exhibitions are available to all non-Orange County visitors with the purchase of a property pass (House access is not included with property pass). Orange County residents are admitted free of charge year-round. Finally, the 1910 Train Depot will be open for self-guided exploration.