Two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued, General Order No. 3 was announced in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865 — finally enforcing the proclamation and freeing all remaining enslaved people in Texas.
This day became known as Juneteenth, a celebration of Black freedom, independence, and culture, and a recognition of the hard fight for emancipation that continues today.
Juneteenth became a federally recognized holiday in 2021, and now at least 28 states and Washington D.C. have recognized it as a public holiday. But recognizing Juneteenth is not enough — it must be paired with action.
As we celebrate Juneteenth this year, let’s ground ourselves both in the history of this holiday and the journey we still have ahead of us to achieve the ideal that Juneteenth represents.
Learn more about the history of Juneteenth & how it became a federal holiday: nmaahc.si.edu/juneteenth