June 19th marks a very important day in our nation's history. Here's why.

What is Juneteenth?

Juneteenth commemorates Union army general Gordon Granger's reading of federal orders in the city of Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865, proclaiming all slaves in the state were now free. (Juneteenth.com)

June 19, 2022 marks the 157th anniversary of the last African American slaves being freed in Texas.

If you don't know much about the holiday known as 'Juneteenth', let us share some more facts with you.

1. Although the Emancipation Proclamation had formally freed slaves in 1863, and the Civil War had all but ended, Texas was the most remote of the slave states, so enforcing the proclamation was a slow and inconsistent process.

2. Juneteenth was overshadowed by the 1960's Civil Rights movement but had a resurgence in the 70's.

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3. Although it's been recognized as a state holiday or special day of observance in 49 of the 50 states, it wasn't officially declared the U.S.'s 12th national holiday until 2021 when President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act.

4. It's also referred to as Jubilee Day, Freedom Day, and Liberation Day.

5. The TV series Black-ish dedicated an entire episode to it.

Perhaps, the Black Lives Matter movement across the country in the wake of the murder of George Floyd in May of 2020 (for which a Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin was found guilty of causing) urged those in power in Washington, D.C. finally declare Juneteenth a national holiday.

SOURCES: Shah Wonders/YouTubeJuneteenth.com; wikipedia.org

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