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Juneteenth (a blending of the words June and nineteenth) is the oldest known celebration of the end of slavery in the United States.

It is also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day and Cel-Liberation Day.

It commemorates June 19, 1865, the day that Union Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger rode into Galveston, Texas, and told slaves of their emancipation from slavery.  Texas was the last state in rebellion, following the end of the Civil War, to allow enslavement. Although the rumors of freedom were widespread prior to this, actual emancipation was not announced in the last state practicing enslavement until General Gordon Granger came to Galveston, Texas and issued General Order #3, on the "19th of June", almost two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.

Juneteenth is a holiday in 46 states across the nation. The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture says that the holiday marks our country’s second independence day. It has long been celebrated among the African American community. (Sources: NJOF and NMAAHC)

Juneteenth Day Celebration in Texas 1900

Photo: Juneteenth day celebration in Texas. 1900.
National Museum of African American History and Culture

Juneteenth Day June 19

How is the celebration observed today?

Modern observance is primarily in local celebrations. Traditions include public readings of the Emancipation Proclamation, singing traditional songs such as "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" and "Lift Every Voice and Sing", and reading of works by noted African-American writers such as Ralph Ellison and Maya Angelou. Celebrations include rodeos, street fairs, cookouts, family reunions, park parties, and historical reenactments. (Wikipedia)

Articles of interest

CNN.com

CNN.com

What You Should Know about Juneteenth. Juneteenth is a celebration honoring the day when Black Slaves were legally freed in the United States.

Smithsonian Magazine

Smithsonian Magazine

Juneteenth: Our Other Independence Day
Two-and-a-half years after the Emancipation Proclamation, American slavery came to an end and a celebration of freedom was born.


Historical Milestone and Figures

Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass spent his life fighting for justice and equality. Born into slavery in 1818, he escaped as a young man and became a leading voice in the abolitionist movement.
Lt. Henry O. Flipper

Lt. Henry O. Flipper

Born into slavery in Thomasville, Georgia, on March 21, 1856, Henry Ossian Flipper was appointed to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, in 1873.
The Emancipation Proclamation

The Emancipation Proclamation

President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, as the nation approached its third year of bloody civil war. The proclamation declared "that all persons held as slaves" within the rebellious states "are, and henceforward shall be free."
The Legacy Museum website

The Legacy Museum website

From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration is situated on a site in Montgomery where enslaved people were once warehoused. A block from one of the most prominent slave auction spaces in America, the Legacy Museum is steps away from an Alabama dock and rail station where tens of thousands of black people were trafficked during the 19th century.