The Juneteenth holiday is a celebration of the end of slavery in the United States. It is also known as Emancipation Day or Juneteenth Independence Day.
"On June 19th, 1865, Major. General. Gordon Granger, the commander of Union Soldiers to Galveston, TX, announced the conclusion of the civil war and the liberation of all enslaved people.
This day is remembered in history as Juneteenth." freedom day." stated Sgt. Major. Amy Prince, of the 407th Army Field Support Battalion, "Juneteenth symbolizes justice and fairness. It is also a time to reflect on the past and the development of our nation.
As an African American Sergeant Major in the Army, this demonstrates how our military is adapting and continuing to evolve and conquer the ailments of our nation's history. Juneteenth is significant to our troops because it demonstrates that we'll all be respected and treated with dignity regardless of race or ethnic background."
Juneteenth has been observed as a holiday in communities of African descent since the year 1866. In 1866, the Emancipation Proclamation officially freed all enslaved people from the rebellious Southern States in the year 1863. However, there were areas where the Union Army's support didn't enforce it.
June 19th, 1865 is the date that Granger, who was the commander of his division in the Union Army in Galveston, officially announced that the decree was in force for more than three decades in Texas, which was the last region of the defeated Confederacy to be informed of the decree and ensure it was consistently followed.
On June 17th, 2021, President Joseph R. Biden signed the bill into law, making Juneteenth the 11th holiday recognized as a federal holiday by the government. As reported by The New York Times,
At the White House ceremony, President Biden made a special mention of Opal Lee, a renowned activist who, aged 89, was able to walk through the streets of Fort Worth, Texas, to Washington, D.C., and declared her "a mother of the campaign to make Juneteenth a national holiday."
Before he signed this bill into law, Biden made the following remarks. Biden said, "this will go down for me in the history books as the most prestigious honors I've received in my time as president... It's an immense, incredible privilege."