Juneteenth is a historically significant day that commemorates the end of slavery on June 19th, 1865. It is widely regarded as one of the most significant days in United States history, when federal troops went to Galveston, Texas to effectively take control of Texas and ensure slaves were freed, marking the celebration we have come to known as Juneteenth.
History of Juneteenth
In the 17th and 18th centuries, people were kidnapped and forced into slavery in the American colonies from Africa. Modernization and westward expansion in America brought about the abolition movement, sparking massive debates and confrontation over the issue of slavery. People in the Northern states vowed to end slavery, while Confederate states were in favor of slavery. This set the stage for the Civil War, which ended in victory for the Union (also known as the Northern states), marking the beginning of the end of slavery.
The Emancipation Proclamation issued by then-President Abraham Lincoln in 1863 declared all slaves under Confederate rule to be freed. This did not immediately end slavery, although it marked the beginning of the end of slavery in the U.S. Many slave owners moved to Texas during the Civil War as there was not a lot of fighting from the North at that tim2 in that area. President Lincoln and U.S. General Gordon Granger ordered federal troops to Texas to take control of the state in 1865 to free the over 250,000 slaves in the state and establish Northern rule.
After slavery was abolished, African Americans held a celebration once called “Jubilee Day” that has since been named Juneteenth. June 19th was recognized as a federal holiday in 2021, and is considered the longest-running African American holiday in history. For ways to celebrate, check out a few of the events our team will be watching below!
How to celebrate
CNN will be broadcasting from the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles at 8:00pm ET from the inaugural “Juneteenth: A Global Celebration for Freedom” event. Here is the link to watch it.
The Juneteenth Foundation will be hosting the Juneteenth Honors with tickets available online.