Happy Juneteenth - To You and Yours from Us and OursJuneteenth History -
Visitors to The African American Museum in Philadelphia, which reopens today on Juneteenth, listen to life-sized 3D characters speak fervently about their lives, beliefs and aspirations in 18th-century Philadelphia. The exhibition, Audacious Freedom: African Americans in Philadelphia, 1776-1876, also features an interactive timeline documenting more than 100 years of entrepreneurship, environment, education, religion and family traditions in the African-American community. For more information, please visit gophila.com/pressroom. (PRNewsFoto/Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation, George Widman Photography)
To many, the words Juneteenth signify freedom, and a time of joyful celebration; others aren’t familiar with the term and have no idea what it refers to. Also referred to as Freedom or Emancipation Day, Juneteenth is a combination of June 19th and is the day that celebrates the abolition of slavery in the state of Texas, however for 31 states, Juneteenth is recognized holiday, in fact, Juneteenth is the oldest holiday that celebrates the abolition of slavery, with its first observance dating back to June 19, 1865, well over a century ago.
The date of June 19, 1865 is significant due to the fact that Texas was the last state to free her slaves. General Gordon Granger issued the order more than two years after President Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation; the first order of the Emancipation Proclamation was signed on September 22, 1862, the second on January 1, 1863. Though the Emancipation had legally granted Texas slaves their freedom, many were not freed until that infamous day of June 19, 1865 when General Granger and his army declared an official end to the Civil War by proclaiming order #3:
"The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and free laborer."
For many, Juneteenth is a time of celebratory fun, as well as a time for painful reflection. The fact that many are still unaware of Juneteenth shines a light on the importance of the need for a great voice in the African American community. Many feel that Juneteenth should be a national holiday, celebrated, as one would honor those who gave their lives in service to this country, others simply feel that racial inequality that took place several centuries ago is a thing of the past. So like many unofficial holidays, Juneteenth is highly praised and celebrated by some, while completely ignored by others.
States that have an official observance or have declared Juneteenth a state holiday include:
The District of Columbia (not a state, but the nation’s capital)
Juneteenth World Wide Celebration
History of the holiday, registry of organizations and commemoration events in the US and internationally, ideas on how to celebrate,and more
Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States.
NATIONAL JUNETEENTH HOLIDAY CAMPAIGN
"Juneteenth" or "19th of June", is considered the date when slavery ended in America.
Juneteenth History and Celebrations
Juneteenth in the News