fbpx History and Significance of Juneteenth - STCL Houston

History and Significance of Juneteenth

Home Law School News History and Significance of Juneteenth

South Texas College of Law Houston is closed June 19 in honor of the Juneteenth holiday. For more than 150 years, Juneteenth has been sacred to many Black communities. June 19 marks the day in 1865 enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, found out they had been freed — after the end of the Civil War, and two years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.

“The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free,” said Gordon Granger, Union General, on June 19, 1865. “This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired laborer.”

That day, according to the National Museum of African American History & Culture, “more than 250,000 African Americans embraced freedom by executive decree in what became known as Juneteenth or Freedom Day. With the principles of self-determination, citizenship, and democracy magnifying their hopes and dreams, those Texans held fast to the promise of true liberty for all.”

In 2021, President Joe Biden signed a bill making Juneteenth the 11th American federal holiday and the first to obtain legal observance as a federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was designated in 1983.

On Juneteenth, people often get the day off from work or school, and many families gather for celebrations at homes or enjoy street festivals, fairs, concerts, and other events. Some use this day to remember the sacrifices that were made for freedom in the United States. 

If you want to learn more about the history and meaning of this national holiday, here are some meaningful resources:

National Museum of African American History & Culture: The Historical Legacy of Juneteenth

PBS: Learn About and Celebrate Juneteenth

History.com: What is Juneteenth?

Video – PBS News: Juneteenth Reading of Emancipation Proclamation in Galveston, Texas

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Scroll to Top
#printfriendly #pf-content svg {min-width: 20px!important;margin-right: 10px;} #pf-content .kb-svg-icon-wrap.kt-svg-icon-list-single svg {min-width: 20px!important;margin-right: 10px;}