Black History Month: Juneteenth

What is Juneteenth?

Establishment of Juneteenth

Juneteenth became the 11th federal holiday on June 17, 2021. 

President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, legally freeing all slaves in Texas on January 1, 1863, but some slave masters withheld this information. Two and a half years later on June 1, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger announced the end of the Civil War and slavery in Galveston, Texas.

According to the Congressional Research Service, Texans celebrated Juneteenth beginning in 1866 with community-centric events, such as parades, cookouts, prayer gatherings, historical and cultural readings, and musical performances.  It was not until January 1, 1980 that Juneteenth became an official Texas state holiday.