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Friends Zinnia Huggins and Violet Smith hold the Juneteenth flag in front of Groton’s Town Hall in anticipation of Groton’s first celebration of Juneteenth, the newest federal holiday. (Photo Courtesy of the Groton Public Library)
Friends Zinnia Huggins and Violet Smith hold the Juneteenth flag in front of Groton’s Town Hall in anticipation of Groton’s first celebration of Juneteenth, the newest federal holiday. (Photo Courtesy of the Groton Public Library)
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GROTON — Groton is set to properly celebrate Juneteenth for the first time this year.

The Groton Public Library and Groton History Center will host multiple events to celebrate the holiday. Signed into law as a federal holiday on June 17, 2021, Juneteenth is meant to commemorate the emancipation of enslaved African Americans after the Civil War and is often viewed as a celebration of African American culture.

The town will also fly six Juneteenth flags in front of local buildings to commemorate the holiday.

At 2 p.m. Sunday, June 19, the GHC will host Jefferey Boutwell at The Groton Center. There, Boutwell will deliver a presentation on Civil War-era political figure George Boutwell, detailing the abolitionist’s involvement with the Emancipation Proclamation and his post-war efforts to promote equality across the United States.

Later, on Tuesday, June 21, the GPL will host a picnic with music and dancing behind the library. A presentation on the history behind African American music and dance will also be held at 7 p.m.

The GPL also encourages those interested in Juneteenth to pick up a free copy of Annette Gordon-Reed’s “On Juneteenth,” courtesy of the Groton Diversity Task Force. Books will be available for pickup at the library, while Gordon-Reed will discuss the book and holiday via Zoom on Monday, June 20.

For more information on Gordon-Reed, her book or her Zoom event, visit https://gpl.assabetinteractive.com/calendar/annette-gordon-reed-on-juneteenth. For more information on Juneteenth events held by the GPL or GHC, visit their respective websites at https://gpl.org or http://www.grotonhistory.org.

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