LANSDALE, Pa. - This week, the U.S. Senate passed a bill to establish June 19 as a federal holiday, the date on which the news of the end of slavery reached the slaves in the southwestern states.
In Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Wolf designated the date as a state holiday in 2019.
And on Wednesday, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy made this announcement: "On Friday, New Jersey will be celebrating 'Juneteenth' as a state holiday for the very first time."
Reading Mayor Eddie Moran is also declaring Friday a city holiday in honor of "Juneteenth" for the first time.
On Saturday, Allentown plans to host a day-long family-friendly celebration that includes a flag raising at city hall at 11 a.m. and ends with a fireworks show at Seventh & Hamilton streets at 9 p.m.
"Juneteenth Lehigh Valley" is also hosting an event at the SteelStacks in Bethlehem on Saturday with music, movies, food trucks and events for the kids.
And if you're looking for a local history lesson, the Peter Wentz Farmstead in Lansdale is offering a "Juneteenth"-focused tour this weekend.
"At one point there were two, at other points, only one enslaved Africans here on the property," said farmstead site supervisor Meg Bleecker Blades.
Bleecker Blades says one of those slaves was a man named Jack, who escaped from Wentz's property once in 1766 and again four years later.
Those who visit the farmstead can see a recreation of the clothes he wore at the time, and two newspaper articles written by Wentz as he offered a reward for Jack's return to captivity.
"Our goal here is to give the most inclusive interpretation possible," Bleecker Blades said.