To honor the fearless contributions of Black Americans, Juneteenth commemorates the day in 1865 when federal orders were read that all enslaved people were free in the United States. Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas to make this important announcement and put into effect the Emancipation Proclamation, which had been issued more than two and half years earlier on January 1, 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln.
The holiday received its name by combining June and 19. People also reference the day as “Juneteenth Independence Day,” “Freedom Day” or “Emancipation Day.”
How is Juneteenth celebrated?
The original celebration became an annual one, and it grew into popularity over the years as people came together by preparing ethnic foods. Celebrations heightened in 1872 when a group of African American ministers and businesspeople in Houston purchased 10 acres of land and created Emancipation Park. The space was used to hold the city’s annual Juneteenth celebration. Today, several cites hold much larger cultural celebrations that include parades, festivals, dancing and food.