The U.S. is marking the national holiday of Juneteenth on Wednesday, which commemorates the abolition of slavery in the country.

In 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves in Confederate states. But it did not immediately end slavery in Texas, which remained under Confederate control.

Two-and-a-half years later, on June 19, 1865, union troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, and announced that more than 250,000 enslaved Black people in the state were free.

While Juneteenth has only been a federal holiday since 2021, Black communities across the country have been celebrating the June 19 date for over a century.

Celebrations across the U.S. were underway Wednesday, including Opal Lees Walk For Freedom, which has been going on since 2016.

Lee known as the grandmother of Juneteenth has helped gather more than 5,300 participants in the walks over the years.

Lee was in Dallas Wednesday where hundreds of people gathered for the event.

July 4th, free the land  and Juneteenth, free the people, Lee said, addressing participants.

She said she was excited and grateful to see the event grow in the way it has. Her goal is to have every state participating in a walk by 2026.

For now, Dallas, Chicago, New York and Tokyo were holding a Walk For Freedom event on Wednesday.

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