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Juneteenth is a holiday celebrated in the United States on June 19th, marking the day when slavery was abolished.

Juneteenth is a holiday celebrated in the United States on June 19th, marking the day when slavery was abolished. While it’s not a federal holiday, it’s observed in all fifty states and has been since 1966. It has also been observed by many other countries as well, including Australia and Canada. The holiday’s origins are steeped in history and shed light on an often overlooked period of American history.

What is Juneteenth?

The term “Juneteenth” refers to June 19th, which is now celebrated as Juneteenth Day. The date marks the day that Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas to deliver news of the Emancipation Proclamation to local slaves who had been freed months earlier by President Abraham Lincoln but had not yet received word of their freedom.

Why is Juneteenth a Holiday?

President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation only freed slaves within Confederate territory during the Civil War (which ended April 9th 1865). This meant that over 200,000 slaves still remained enslaved until after the war ended.

The Union Army occupied Texas at Galveston on January 1st 1865. On June 19th 1865 Major General Gordon Granger arrived with 2,000 troops from New Orleans and announced that all slaves were free.

It took some time for this news to spread throughout Texas and for former slaves to learn of their freedom. In fact there were celebrations across Texas as late as August 1866!

General Granger’s order read “The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States dated January 1st 1865 all slaves are free.”

Although these events happened over 150 years ago they are still important today because they demonstrate how African Americans struggled for equality even after being freed from slavery.