By | Jun 19, 2013

Juneteenth or June 19th is the date that many celebrate as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day. June 19, 1865 was the day Union General Gordon Granger and 2,000 federal troops arrived on Galveston Island, Texas to take possession of the state and enforce the emancipation of its slaves.

The holiday had it starts in Galveston and for many years it was celebrated only in Galveston and then only in Texas.

The state of Texas was the first to make Juneteenth an official holiday. This was in 1980. Several states have issued proclamations recognizing the holiday and the day is acknowledged in most states with local or statewide celebrations.

States that mark the date as a state holiday or one of state observance include Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, Delaware, Alaska, Idaho, Iowa, California, Wyoming, Illinois, Missouri, Connecticut, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, Colorado, Arkansas, Oregon, Kentucky, Michigan, New Mexico, Virginia, Washington State, Tennessee, Massachusetts, North Carolina, West Virginia, South Carolina, Vermont and the District of Columbia.

Juneteenth celebrations are generally held as part of a large feast in a park of other outdoor space. Sort of like a large Thanksgiving picnic.

Juneteenth has become a day for African Americans to celebrate their freedom, culture, and achievements and a day for all Americans to celebrate African American history and rejoice in their freedom.


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