Starts 5/20/2024, 12:00 PM
Ends 5/20/2024, 01:00 PM

The DeSoto County Historical Society invites you to learn about May 20th: Florida Emancipation Day at noon on May 20 in the McSwain Room of DeSoto Memorial Hospital, 900 N. Robert Ave., with a presentation by Author and Living Historian Martha Bireda, Ph.D.

Bireda is the founder and director of the Blanchard House Museum of African American History and Culture of Charlotte County in Punta Gorda, Florida.

She will begin with a story about her enslaved family members as her grandmother told it to Dr. Bireda.

Then she will discuss “the events leading up to the reading of the Emancipation Proclamation in Florida, the celebrations that followed, the ways in which Emancipation Day has been celebrated in Punta Gorda, and why Florida’s official Emancipation Proclamation Day is celebrated May 20, rather than June 19 (Juneteenth).”

The event is free and open to the public. At 11:30 a.m., lunch is available for purchase in the cafeteria.

For more information about the DeSoto County Historical Society, email [email protected], go to or call 863-445-0789.