President Joe Biden signed legislation on Thursday to recognize Juneteenth (June 19) as a federal holiday to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States.
Sometimes known as Jubilee Day, Freedom Day, and Emancipation Day, Juneteenth originated on June 19, 1865, when U.S. Major General Gordon Granger stationed in Galveston, Texas issued General Order No. 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, therefore, existing between them becomes that between employer and hired laborer.”
Juneteenth becomes the newest federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was first officially observed in 1986. Take some time to learn and reflect on its meaning and why it is important to our African American brothers and sisters as well as our nation’s history and future.