Houston and Philly fans are bonded during the World Series through their American independence

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Tuesday, November 1, 2022
World Series 2022: Houston and Philly fans forever linked for roles their cities played in giving Americans independence
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Philly and Houston linked in roles played in American independence

GALVESTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The World Series features two cities forever linked for their roles in giving Americans independence.

With the World Series in Philadelphia, there are places for Astros fans to visit. From the museum of art, made famous by a run up the stairs in a Rocky movie, to a huge assortment of foods and goods inside the Reading Terminal Market. But the crown jewel is an area left untouched for nearly 250 years.

Philadelphia is home to where the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776. You can also find the Liberty Bell, once used to proclaim freedom.

But in the shadows of both, other symbols show that not everyone celebrated independence.

Outside the former President's House, feet away from the Independence Hall, are footprints in cement symbolizing a runaway slave.

It took nearly 100 more years until everyone was able to celebrate independence. An act not born in Philadelphia, but the greater Houston area.

"Not everyone was free in 1776," Juneteenth Legacy Project co-chair, Samuel Collins III, explained. "We do not share this history to point out the flaws of the past, but to learn from the past so as we move forward we can become more better and more perfect union."

June 19, now a federal holiday, celebrates when enslaved people gained independence in Galveston after the Civil War.

"It began instantaneous celebration because you think for decades and hundreds of years individuals had been praying for freedom," Collin said.

There's no hall, or bell, like there is in Philly to commemorate, but the Houston area has places you can visit. There's Emancipation Park in Houston, where formerly enslaved people pooled money, and bought property, and there's also a mural in Galveston.

"And you have Reedy Chapel Church where the notice was posted by the soldiers in 1865, general order number three, letting the enslaved people on the island know that they were now free," Collins explained.

Collins explained a misconception about Juneteenth. Many people think it was the day when enslaved people learned about freedom. He said they knew about the Emancipation Proclamation, and were days away from enjoying their freedom. But a battle took place and the Confederate Army took back the island.

Enslaved people had to wait more than two years until they could celebrate, and enjoy freedom.

Because of Juneteenth and Independence Day, all fans can join together and watch their teams play in the World Series.

"It started there, but it's going to end here with a championship in Houston just the like the freedom story started there in 1776 and ended here in the greater Houston area in 1865, and we're going to bring that world championship home and we're going to end the celebration right here in Houston," Collins said.

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RELATED: Houston celebrates the 157th anniversary of Juneteenth with back to back events

"Let's prepare the future generations bearing in mind those who have paid the price, made the sacrifice ... Now we are free. Happy Juneteenth, everybody!" said Mayor Sylvester Turner.