Five Facts About Juneteenth

Five Facts About Juneteenth

By Rosalind Baker

Program Director, Framingham Family Resource Center

Up until last year, my mom would call everyone in my family and make sure they knew it was June 19th. This day was especially significant to her growing up in the segregated South where this date is recognized as the day that slaves in Texas finally achieved independence.

My mom passed away last year, but we continue to celebrate the significance of Juneteenth because it’s part of our history; it is important to remember our past.

Five Facts about Juneteenth from

  1. Juneteenth is short for June Nineteenth, a holiday commemorating the effective end of slavery in the Unites States.
  2. On June 19, 1865, two months after Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered, Union General Gordon Granger and 1,800 troops arrived in Galveston, Texas to take control of the state and enforce the Emancipation Proclamation. This was more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation (January 1, 1863) freeing slaves in Confederate states.
  3. When General Galveston arrived in Galveston 250,000 slaves were freed. Freed black slaves broke out in celebration.
  4. Juneteenth became an official holiday in Texas in 1979.
  5. For more information about Massachusetts Juneteenth celebrations, click here.
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