The celebration of the first federally observed Juneteenth

ABC News’ Marcus Moore is in Galveston, Texas, this morning where Union troops traveled on June 19, 1865, to inform slaves of their freedom granted by the Emancipation Proclamation.
2:42 | 06/20/21

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Transcript for The celebration of the first federally observed Juneteenth
Now to juneteenth celebrations across the country. The first nationwide observance of the day since president Biden signed it into law two days ago, making it a federal holiday. Marcus Moore is in galveston, Texas, where union troops informed slaves of their freedom on June 19, 1865. Marcus, good morning. Reporter: Whit, good morning. That proclamation read right here in this spot. It was an historic weekend this weekend. I want you to show you "Houston's chronicle" saying for these descendents juneteenth is as important as Easter and Christmas. The nation pauses to honor that day for the very first time. This morning, joy, reflection and celebrations in cities across the U.S. For the first time in its history marking juneteenth as a national holiday. Celebrations began 156 years ago here in galveston when union troops freed the last enslaved African-Americans, more than two years after Abraham Lincoln signed the emancipation proclamation. What do you hope this will mean beyond this celebration today? I'm hoping more people become unified. It will allow to be everybody inclusive. It just doesn't stop by signing of a bill. Reporter: More than a century later those celebrations echoed across the country. From Denver to New York City, to Missouri where nearly 200 kids took part in a parade. In Florida families walking for peace in the streets. This is such an accomplishment. It's been a long time coming. Reporter: Back in Texas crowds joining 94-year-old Opal Lee, known as the grandmother of the juneteenth movement. For yet another year she walked 2 1/2 miles to commemorate the 2 1/2 years it took for Texas slaves to finally be freed. This is what we're about. Reporter: In Brooklyn, new York, a sculpture of George Floyd unveiled, amid the protests and unrest following his killing, juneteenth significance gaining national recognition. I hope it will spark mobilizers to March and educate with the goal for enacting change. Reporter: In galveston we've heard from so many people about how this holiday represents so much, including the need for people of all backgrounds to be active in their communities and vote. Eva? An historical holiday. The very first. Thank you, Marcus. Time for a check of our

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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