Wednesday, June 01, 2022

Juneteenth is a holiday celebrated on June 19th to commemorate the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States. On June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, TX, and announced the end of the Civil War and the end of slavery. Although the Emancipation Proclamation came two and a half years earlier on January 1, 1863, many slave owners continued to hold their enslaved people captive after the announcement, so Juneteenth became a symbolic date representing African-American freedom.

Juneteenth is a time to gather as a family, reflect on the past and look to the future. It is a day of celebration of the journey and freedom of Black people in the United States.

Last year, President Joe Biden signed a bill establishing Juneteenth, the date marking the end of slavery in the United States, as a federal holiday. Juneteenth National Independence Day is now the 12th legal public holiday, and the first new one since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was signed into law in 1983 by then-President Ronald Reagan.

Juneteenth Resources:

PBS – What is Juneteenth?

History Channel – What Is Juneteenth

Texas State Library – Juneteenth

Congressional Research Service – Juneteenth Fact Sheet

National Museum of African American History & Culture – Celebrating Juneteenth

National Museum of African American History & Culture – The Historical Legacy of Juneteenth

Chicago History Museum – Juneteenth


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