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90 year-old stops in Columbia on her historic walk to Washington

Opal Lee, 90, stopped in Columbia Friday

COLUMBIA (WACH)-A 90 year-old woman is taking a long walk to Washington, D.C. to make Juneteenth a nationally observed holiday.

Opal Lee of Fort Worth, Texas, started her journey on September 1, 2016.

"I started walking September the first. I told friends and family that I was gonna do it," says Lee "but I don't think they thought I really would."

Friday, she stopped at St. Martin de Porres Catholic School in Columbia, SC to walk around the campus and speak with students about the importance of the holiday.

June 19th, marks "Juneteenth," the anniversary of the arrival of Union soldiers in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865, who carried with them the news that the Civil War was over and that slavery had been abolished by President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation two-and-a-half years earlier.

Lee says Juneteenth transcends beyond the African-American community.

There are 45 states in the county that observe the day in some way but Lee says it should be observed by the federal government like other holidays.

She created an online petition before beginning her walk and says she will continue until she sees change.


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