On June 17th, 2021, President Biden signed legislation making Juneteenth a federal holiday. This year Juneteenth falls on Sunday, June 19th; therefore, the national holiday will be celebrated on Monday, June 20th, 2022. We encourage you to celebrate freedom by reflecting on what freedom means to you as we approach the holiday. Also, check out and read some of the many resources we have on African-American history and Juneteenth.
Historically, Juneteenth is celebrated on June 19th annually. The holiday is also called Freedom Day or Emancipation Day. It is the day that enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas, learned that they were free following the surrender of the Confederate Army in Texas. President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1st, 1863, which ended institutionalized slavery in America. The enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, did not know about their emancipation until the Union Army, led by General Gordon Granger, arrived in the town and read the Emancipation Proclamation out loud on June 19th, 1865. That was almost two and a half years after Lincoln signed the proclamation.
There is so much to learn about the events leading up to the Emancipation Proclamation and Juneteenth. We have many resources in the library for you to explore, discover and enjoy. So to strengthen your knowledge and appreciation for the holiday, come check out some history.