Tommy Gregory Sr. told the crowd gathered at Nelson Heights Community Center that summer was the season to celebrate two of America’s independence days.
The holiday titled Independence Day comes July 4, commemorating the colonists’ separation from the British. The other celebration of independence that Mansfield’s Gregory spoke of was June 19, or Juneteenth. Juneteenth is the celebration when slaves were set free a year and a half after the Emancipation Proclamation.
Juneteenth commemorates the day in 1865 when Union soldiers led by Major Gen. Gordon Granger landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war ended and the enslaved were free.
Residents gathered at the Nelson Heights Community Center, enjoying hamburgers and hotdogs from the grill, music, dancers and other entertainment, despite the storms that blew in to Covington Saturday afternoon.