The History of Juneteenth

Juneteenth is celebrated every year on June 19th and commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. Join us this week as we look back on the history behind the holiday and honor the power and resilience of Black Americans.


In 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation was signed, which established that all enslaved people in Confederate states in rebellion against the Union “shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.” However, slavery continued in Texas until 1865, when Union troops arrived in Galveston, signaling the end. Celebrations broke out, and the next year “Jubilee Day” was organized and became an annual event celebrated on June 19th.


Texas formally adopted Juneteenth as an official holiday in 1979, with a few other states following. Juneteenth was finally declared a national holiday in 2021.