Recognizing Juneteenth

Juneteenth, is a day of reflection, a day of renewal, a pride-filled day. It is a moment in time taken to appreciate the African American experience.


Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.

On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the Civil War had ended and the formerly enslaved African Americans were now free. This announcement came two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. Many states were still in open rebellion against the federal government and didn't recognize President Lincoln's authority.

Many slaveholders didn't comply with the order until Union troops arrived to enforce it. After learning they were free, formerly enslaved African Americans in Texas adopted June 19, nicknamed Juneteenth, as a day to celebrate freedom.

In 1980, Texas made Juneteenth an official state holiday. Also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, it is not yet a National Holiday, but is recognized as a state holiday or considered a special day in 47 states, including Minnesota.

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