What is Juneteenth?

~ from the Office of Neighborhoods

 

The combination of June and Nineteenth make Juneteenth, also called Freedom Day or Emancipation Day.

 

On June 19, 1865, the Emancipation Proclamation—which ended slavery in the United States and had been issued on January 1, 1863—was read to enslaved African-Americans in Texas by Gordon Granger. Texas was the last Confederate state to have the proclamation announced, after the end of the American Civil War in April of that year.

 

African-Americans and others mark Juneteenth much like the Fourth of July, with parties, picnics, and gatherings with family and friends.

 

Juneteenth is recognized as a state holiday or special day of observance in 47 of the 50 states. The three states that do not recognize Juneteenth are Hawaii, North Dakota, and South Dakota. In 1980, Texas was the first state to make Juneteenth a state holiday, although it had been celebrated informally since 1865.

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