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Celebrating the end of slavery in the United States.

Origins and history of Juneteenth

Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, the day Black people enslaved in Galveston Bay, Texas, finally learned of their freedom, two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. In 1980, Texas became the first state in the U.S. to declare Juneteenth a state holiday.

In 2021, President Biden signed a bill to establish Juneteenth as a federal holiday. Although official recognition of Juneteenth varies at the state level, as of 2023, at least 28 states and the District of Columbia legally recognize Juneteenth as a public holiday, according to the Pew Research Center. In 2021, the Washington state legislature officially recognized Juneteenth as a state holiday.

Celebration, reflection and change

Juneteenth is a day of celebration. It is also a day for reflection on the history of slavery in the U.S., the systemic inequities left in its legacy and our responsibility to create a more just and equitable future.