The Emancipation Proclamation was signed by Abraham Lincoln on January 1st, 1863 and outlined the conditions under which slaves were to be freed throughout the confederate states. However, it was not until the conclusion of the Civil War in April 1865 that the Emancipation Proclamation was fully established across the reunified states.
Juneteenth (short for “June Nineteenth”) commemorates the date in 1865 when the news of freedom reached Galveston, Texas and federal troops took control of the state and ensured that all enslaved people were freed. Juneteenth is considered the longest-running African American holiday.
Juneteenth officially became a federal holiday on June 17, 2021. President Biden said, “Juneteenth marks both a long, hard night of slavery and subjugation and the promise of a brighter morning to come. This is a day, in my view, of profound weight and profound power. A day in which we remember the moral stain, terrible toll that slavery took on the country and continues to take.”
Juneteenth celebrations vary across the country and include traditions such as festivals, picnics, family reunions, rodeos, and historical reenactments. If you are looking for ways to celebrate, The Today Show compiled a list of 19 ideas for celebrating Juneteenth as a family.
- What is Juneteenth
- Juneteenth: The History of a New Holiday
- 10 Facts: Juneteenth
- What Is Juneteenth? Information for Kids and Families
- Juneteenth- Senses of Freedom: The Taste, Sound, and Experience of an African American Celebration