Every year, Juneteenth takes place on June 19 and is also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Black Independence Day, and Cel-Liberation Day. This holiday commemorates the day in 1865 when Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas to announce the end of the Civil War and slavery.
Did you know:
- Texas was the last in the Confederacy to receive word that the Civil War was over and that slavery had been abolished.
- The Emancipation Proclamation, issued by President Abraham Lincoln, had legally freed slaves in Texas on January 1, 1863, almost 2½ years earlier. Even after the general order, some slave masters withheld the information from their slaves, holding them as slaves through one more harvest season.
- Despite the announcement, Texas slave owners weren't too eager to part with what they felt was their property. When freed people tried to leave, many of them were beaten, lynched, or murdered.
- Texans celebrated Juneteenth beginning in 1866, with community-centric events, such as parades, cookouts, prayer gatherings, historical and cultural readings, and musical performances. Over time, communities have developed their own traditions.
- On January 1, 1980, Juneteenth officially became a Texas state holiday. Al Edwards, a freshman state representative, put forward the bill, H.B. 1016, making Texas the first state to grant this emancipation celebration.
- Although Juneteenth is not a federal holiday 45 other states and the District of Columbia have also commemorated or recognized the day.
ACA will celebrate and commemorate Juneteenth and encourages others to consider implementing this day as a “day of learning” in their workplace, where employees can participate in educating themselves about the history and experience of Black Americans.
12 Things You Might Not Know About Juneteenth
Library of Congress Blog “Celebrating Juneteenth”
Voices from the days of slavery