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Juneteenth 2022: Home

Celebrate Juneteenth

Juneteenth Slideshow

History/Overview

Juneteenth is a hybrid of the words June and nineteenth. It was first recognized on June 19, 1865. In the weeks following General Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, General Gordon Granger and a regiment of Union army soldiers sailed into Galveston, Texas, and issued a freedom proclamation for nearly two hundred thousand slaves. This was the catalyst for a number of celebrations in the state and throughout the southwestern United States. Currently a Texas state holiday, Juneteenth is commemorated all over the country with parades, concerts, and cultural festivities.

Lincoln Proclaims Emancipation

President Abraham Lincoln signed the first Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862. It was a preliminary document, announcing that emancipation would become effective on January 1, 1863. Enforcement, however, was stalled until the end of the Civil War in April 1865 and the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution on December 18, 1865. Texans were not notified of these developments and did not learn of their freedom until June 19 of that year. It is generally accepted that plantation owners purposely delayed the news announcing the end of slavery in order to orchestrate one final harvest and planting of the cotton crops.

Juneteenth Becomes a Texas State Holiday

Integration, the Great Depression, and World War II contributed to the decline of Juneteenth emancipation gatherings. In 1979 Houston Representative Al Edwards proposed legislation to make June 19 an official Texas state holiday. The bill became law on January 1, 1980. The renaissance of African American cultural pride and ethnic identification prevalent in the country over the last twenty-five years has helped to resurrect Juneteenth. It is now visible in a variety of places in the United States.

From CREDO: Slavery in the United States: A Social, Political, and Historical Encyclopedia

Juneteenth Galveston, Texas, June 19th, 1865 

Juneteenth started in Galveston, Texas:

"The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and free laborer." 

From --Major General Gordon Granger, Galveston, June 19th, 1865

TCC Libraries Digital Display Archive

The Tarrant County College District Libraries are pleased to provide a wide assortment of digital displays and online exhibits designed to educate, inform, entertain, and engage our entire community, and to help support the learning experience outside of the traditional classroom environment.  To view more of these web-based displays, visit our Digital Display Archive page.