HONORING AND CELEBRATING JUNETEENTH

History of the Holiday

JUNE 18, 2021

This Saturday is Juneteenth, a holiday dedicated to the end of slavery in the United States. Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, commemorates June 19, 1865 — the day a Union general named Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, to inform slaves of their freedom.

The announcement came at the end of the Civil War — two and a half years after Abraham Lincoln had issued the Emancipation Proclamation. In 1863, during the American Civil War, Pres. Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared more than three million slaves living in the Confederate states to be free. More than two years would pass before this news reached African Americans living in Texas. It was not until Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865, that the state’s residents finally learned that slavery had been abolished. The former slaves immediately began to celebrate with prayer, feasting, song, and dance.

Yesterday, President Biden signed legislation to make Juneteenth a federal holiday, enshrining June 19 as the national day to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States. The law went into effect immediately, making today the first federal Juneteenth holiday.

How to Celebrate

Over the years, Juneteenth has become an opportunity to honor Black history and celebrate Black culture. Below are some ways we can observe this day together:

Read: Books for all ages

Watch: Explore the history

Listen: In the backyard, at the beach, the soundtrack for the cookout, or just in the living room!

Local Events: Celebrate with events in your city

Virtual events: Participate from the comfort of your home

HISTORY OF THE HOLIDAY

JUNE 18, 2021

This Saturday is Juneteenth, a holiday dedicated to the end of slavery in the United States. Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, commemorates June 19, 1865 — the day a Union general named Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, to inform slaves of their freedom.

The announcement came at the end of the Civil War — two and a half years after Abraham Lincoln had issued the Emancipation Proclamation. In 1863, during the American Civil War, Pres. Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared more than three million slaves living in the Confederate states to be free. More than two years would pass before this news reached African Americans living in Texas. It was not until Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865, that the state’s residents finally learned that slavery had been abolished. The former slaves immediately began to celebrate with prayer, feasting, song, and dance.

Yesterday, President Biden signed legislation to make Juneteenth a federal holiday, enshrining June 19 as the national day to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States. The law went into effect immediately, making today the first federal Juneteenth holiday.

How to Celebrate

Over the years, Juneteenth has become an opportunity to honor Black history and celebrate Black culture. Below are some ways we can observe this day together:

Read: Books for all ages

Watch: Explore the history

Listen: In the backyard, at the beach, the soundtrack for the cookout, or just in the living room!

Local Events: Celebrate with events in your city

Virtual events: Participate from the comfort of your home