or June 19, commemorates the day in 1865 when slavery was ended in the
United States. Also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation
Juneteenth is recognized as a state holiday or state day of observance
in 41 U.S. states.
|Why June 19th?
Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1,
1863. The proclamation declared that slaves were free, but it did not
actually end slavery in the U.S. It was not until Jan. 31, 1865, that
the 13th Amendment was passed, which formally abolished slavery in the
United States, and many
were not aware of their freedom until many years later.
And it was not until June 19, 1865 -- following the
last battle of
the Civil War at Palmetto Ranch
in Texas -- that Maj. Gen. Gordon
Granger and Union soldiers marched into Galveston and announced that
the Civil War had ended and that the enslaved were now free. The
celebration that followed the announcement was called Juneteenth.
Celebrations of the abolition of slavery occur on different dates in
various countries and U.S. states. Washington D.C., for instance,
celebrates April 16, the anniversary of the day in 1862 when President
Lincoln freed 3,100 people in that city nine months before the
Other emancipation celebrations:
many other countries, such as Trinidad and
Tobago, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Anguilla, Emancipation Day
celebrations take place during Carnival.
- Bahamas: "Majority Rule
Day" on January 10 commemorates day in 1967 when elections were first
decided by a majority vote, allowing people of African descent an
opportunity to form the government.
"Season of Emancipation" is
celebrated April 14 to August 23.
- Bermuda: On the
day of "Cupmatch," a cricket competition, the Thursday before the
first Monday in August.
celebrates Emancipation Day on the
first Monday in August, when slavery was abolished in Upper Canada in
1810. The Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 officially ended slavery
throughout the British Empire.
- Florida: May
20, the day the
Emancipation Proclamation was read in the state in 1865.
August 8, marking the
day Kentucky's slaves learned of their freedom.
- Mississippi: May
8, also known as
"Eight o' May."
Rico: March 22 is the official
Emancipation Day holiday.
Virgin Islands: July 3
is Emancipation Day, commemorating the day that Gov. Peter Von
slavery in 1848.
The Freedmen of the Mississippi
Shortly After Emancipation
Liberation in Kentucky
Emancipation and Freedom,
Celebrating Freedom in Canada
Slaveholders in Bermuda, 1616-1782
First Reading of the Emancipation
Bermuds National Flag
Juneteenth BBQ Apron
Bahamas National Flag
by Liz Carson Rosas