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Juneteenth in United States

Quick Facts

Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day and Emancipation Day, is a holiday or observance in many US states to celebrate the anniversary of the abolition of slavery in Texas on June 19, 1865.

Local names

NameLanguage
JuneteenthEnglish
Día de JuneteenthSpanish
יום עצמאות יוני 19Hebrew
19 يونيو عيد الاستقلالArabic
6월 19일 독립 기념일Korean
JuneteenthGerman

Juneteenth 2014

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Juneteenth 2015

Friday, June 19, 2015
List of dates for other years

Juneteenth is an annual observance on June 19 to remember when Union soldiers enforced the Emancipation Proclamation and freed all remaining slaves in Texas on June 19, 1865. This day is an opportunity for people to celebrate freedom and equal rights in the United States.

Juneteenth celebrates equal rights and unity in the USA.

©thinkstockphoto.com

What do people do?

A range of public, community and private events are held to celebrate Juneteenth, often on a weekend close to June 19. These include:

Some people also decorate conference rooms or corridors at their workplace, their neighborhood and yards with Juneteenth banners, yard signs and flags to raise awareness of the event.

Public life

Juneteenth is a partial or full state holiday, or an official observance in at least 42 US states and the District of Columbia.

In some states, people employed by the state have a day off work. Stores, post offices and other organizations and businesses are likely to be open as usual, but some may be closed or have restricted opening hours in some areas. Many public transit services operate to their usual schedule, but there may be some changes. There may be some local disruption to traffic around large scale public events.

Background

Slavery in the United States can be traced back to the 16th century when Spanish explorers brought African slaves with them to the New World. It lasted until the Emancipation Proclamation came into effect on January 1, 1863. On that date Texas was largely controlled by forces fighting for the Confederate States, which opposed the abolition of slavery. On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers arrived to take control of Texas and enforce the emancipation of slaves in the state. In Galveston, Texas, the newly freed slaves held large public celebrations and so laid the base for future Juneteenth activities. The word 'Juneteenth' resulted from the words 'June Nineteenth' being slurred together in speech.

After 1865, Juneteenth was mainly celebrated in Texas. Parks have been established on land bought by former slaves to hold Juneteenth celebrations in the Texan cities of Austin, Houston and Mexia. However, it is now a state holiday or observance in more than half of the US states and there is a campaign for Juneteenth to become a national holiday or observance throughout the nation.  Juneteenth celebrations are also held in other countries around the world, including Ghana, Honduras, Japan, Taiwan and Trinidad and Tobago.

Symbols

The Juneteenth flag consists of a rectangle. The lower part of the rectangle is red and the upper part is blue and it has a solid white, five-pointed star at its center. The star is surrounded by a white outline of a 12-pointed star. The Juneteenth flag is often displayed with the United States flag to symbolize that slavery is illegal.

In Texas and some other southern states, the traditional drink on Juneteenth is Big Red soda. This variety of cream soda is a sweet, soft drink flavored with orange and lemon oils and vanilla. It is available in different flavors and with or without caffeine and sugar.

Juneteenth Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday typeWhere it is observed
TueJun 191990JuneteenthLocal observanceAll except Am. Samoa, AZ, HI, MD, MP, MT, ND, NH, SD, UT, Virg. Is., Wake Is.
WedJun 191991JuneteenthLocal observanceAll except Am. Samoa, AZ, HI, MD, MP, MT, ND, NH, SD, UT, Virg. Is., Wake Is.
FriJun 191992JuneteenthLocal observanceAll except Am. Samoa, AZ, HI, MD, MP, MT, ND, NH, SD, UT, Virg. Is., Wake Is.
SatJun 191993JuneteenthLocal observanceAll except Am. Samoa, AZ, HI, MD, MP, MT, ND, NH, SD, UT, Virg. Is., Wake Is.
SunJun 191994JuneteenthLocal observanceAll except Am. Samoa, AZ, HI, MD, MP, MT, ND, NH, SD, UT, Virg. Is., Wake Is.
MonJun 191995JuneteenthLocal observanceAll except Am. Samoa, AZ, HI, MD, MP, MT, ND, NH, SD, UT, Virg. Is., Wake Is.
WedJun 191996JuneteenthLocal observanceAll except Am. Samoa, AZ, HI, MD, MP, MT, ND, NH, SD, UT, Virg. Is., Wake Is.
ThuJun 191997JuneteenthLocal observanceAll except Am. Samoa, AZ, HI, MD, MP, MT, ND, NH, SD, UT, Virg. Is., Wake Is.
FriJun 191998JuneteenthLocal observanceAll except Am. Samoa, AZ, HI, MD, MP, MT, ND, NH, SD, UT, Virg. Is., Wake Is.
SatJun 191999JuneteenthLocal observanceAll except Am. Samoa, AZ, HI, MD, MP, MT, ND, NH, SD, UT, Virg. Is., Wake Is.
MonJun 192000JuneteenthLocal observanceAll except Am. Samoa, AZ, HI, MD, MP, MT, ND, NH, SD, UT, Virg. Is., Wake Is.
TueJun 192001JuneteenthLocal observanceAll except Am. Samoa, AZ, HI, MD, MP, MT, ND, NH, SD, UT, Virg. Is., Wake Is.
WedJun 192002JuneteenthLocal observanceAll except Am. Samoa, AZ, HI, MD, MP, MT, ND, NH, SD, UT, Virg. Is., Wake Is.
ThuJun 192003JuneteenthLocal observanceAll except Am. Samoa, AZ, HI, MD, MP, MT, ND, NH, SD, UT, Virg. Is., Wake Is.
SatJun 192004JuneteenthLocal observanceAll except Am. Samoa, AZ, HI, MD, MP, MT, ND, NH, SD, UT, Virg. Is., Wake Is.
SunJun 192005JuneteenthLocal observanceAll except Am. Samoa, AZ, HI, MD, MP, MT, ND, NH, SD, UT, Virg. Is., Wake Is.
MonJun 192006JuneteenthLocal observanceAll except Am. Samoa, AZ, HI, MD, MP, MT, ND, NH, SD, UT, Virg. Is., Wake Is.
TueJun 192007JuneteenthLocal observanceAll except Am. Samoa, AZ, HI, MD, MP, MT, ND, NH, SD, UT, Virg. Is., Wake Is.
ThuJun 192008JuneteenthLocal observanceAll except Am. Samoa, AZ, HI, MD, MP, MT, ND, NH, SD, UT, Virg. Is., Wake Is.
FriJun 192009JuneteenthLocal observanceAll except Am. Samoa, AZ, HI, MD, MP, MT, ND, NH, SD, UT, Virg. Is., Wake Is.
SatJun 192010JuneteenthLocal observanceAll except Am. Samoa, AZ, HI, MD, MP, MT, ND, NH, SD, UT, Virg. Is., Wake Is.
SunJun 192011JuneteenthLocal observanceAll except Am. Samoa, AZ, HI, MD, MP, MT, ND, NH, SD, UT, Virg. Is., Wake Is.
TueJun 192012JuneteenthLocal observanceAll except Am. Samoa, AZ, HI, MD, MP, MT, ND, NH, SD, UT, Virg. Is., Wake Is.
WedJun 192013JuneteenthLocal observanceAll except Am. Samoa, AZ, HI, MD, MP, MT, ND, NH, SD, UT, Virg. Is., Wake Is.
ThuJun 192014JuneteenthLocal observanceAll except Am. Samoa, AZ, HI, MD, MP, MT, ND, NH, SD, UT, Virg. Is., Wake Is.
FriJun 192015JuneteenthLocal observanceAll except Am. Samoa, AZ, HI, MD, MP, MT, ND, NH, SD, UT, Virg. Is., Wake Is.
SunJun 192016JuneteenthLocal observanceAll except Am. Samoa, AZ, HI, MD, MP, MT, ND, NH, SD, UT, Virg. Is., Wake Is.
MonJun 192017JuneteenthLocal observanceAll except Am. Samoa, AZ, HI, MD, MP, MT, ND, NH, SD, UT, Virg. Is., Wake Is.
TueJun 192018JuneteenthLocal observanceAll except Am. Samoa, AZ, HI, MD, MP, MT, ND, NH, SD, UT, Virg. Is., Wake Is.
WedJun 192019JuneteenthLocal observanceAll except Am. Samoa, AZ, HI, MD, MP, MT, ND, NH, SD, UT, Virg. Is., Wake Is.
FriJun 192020JuneteenthLocal observanceAll except Am. Samoa, AZ, HI, MD, MP, MT, ND, NH, SD, UT, Virg. Is., Wake Is.

Related holiday

Other holidays in June 2014 in United States

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