SHSMO Publishes New Interactive Map Exploring Juneteenth and Emancipation Day in Missouri

Adding to its expansive catalog of resources for understanding all facets of Missouri history, the State Historical Society of Missouri has published a new digital interactive, Emancipation Day in the Missouri Ozarks, which explores the significance of June 19 and August 4 to African American freedom in Missouri and the United States.

Now available online, this new interactive from SHSMO takes you on a trip through the counties that dot the Missouri Ozarks while detailing the origins and history of emancipation and the celebrations of Black Missourians after their fight for freedom. According to noted African American history scholar and SHSMO executive director Gary R. Kremer, the commemoration of Emancipation Day in Missouri dates back to the Civil War era with celebratory events like picnics, barbeques, and parades taking place on or around August 4. Juneteenth celebrations in the Show-Me State are of more recent origins, dating to the 1970s.

Research and development of Emancipation Day in the Missouri Ozarks was led by SHSMO oral historian Sean Rost with assistance from SHSMO Goodrich fellow Andrew Olden, SHSMO-Springfield archivist Haley Frizzle-Green, and Kathleen Seale, coordinator of the Rolla and Springfield research centers.

The online interactive is the first of many projects to be released by the State Historical Society of Missouri that explore African American Heritage in the Ozarks, an initiative supported by an American Rescue Plan Act grant awarded to the Society through the National Endowment for the Humanities and Missouri Humanities.

View the Interactive Map

Learn more about Emancipation Day in Missouri with Gary R. Kremer's talk Celebrating Freedom in Missouri: From Emancipation Day to Juneteenth, to be presented Sunday, June 19, at a Juneteenth celebration event in Arrow Rock. The talk begins at 3 p.m. at Brown’s Chapel and is presented in collaboration with Friends of Arrow Rock, the Arrow Rock State Historic Site, Missouri River Bird Observatory, and the Study Circle in Arrow Rock on Racism (SCARR).

Learn More about the Talk

To explore more resources on African American history in Missouri, visit the Society’s African American Experience in Missouri Research Guide.