On June 17th, 2021, President Biden officially signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act declaring June 19th a federal holiday. Businesses across the country are observing Friday (the day before) as a day-off to celebrate this key moment in the history of the United States. For those of us who are today years old learning about Juneteenth, you’re welcome.
The History of Juneteenth
Juneteenth is the day Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation right? Wrong.
Lincoln actually signed the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1863, but due to the means of transportation this decree took almost 3 more years to be enforced across the South.
It was not until June 19, 1865, when Union Major General Gordon Grander arrived in Galveston, Texas that the chattel slavery saw it ends in the U.S. This meant the freedom of over 200,000 African-Americans that lived in Texas at the time. While slavery lingered in select states into the following year, Texas was the most remote state and symbolized a turning point in American history.
- July 4, 1776 - Declaration of Independence signed
- September 22, 1862 - Lincoln signs the Emancipation Proclamation
- January 1, 1863 - Emancipation Proclamation goes into effect
- 🎉 June 19, 1865 - Troops finally arrive in Galveston, TX to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation
Also known as
- Jubilee Day - announced on 1866
- Black Independence Day
- Emancipation day
Want to learn more?