REMEMBER, Wednesday (June 19th) is Juneteenth, a Federal Holiday

Wednesday, June 19th is a Federal Holiday, meaning Government Offices will be closed and mail will not run.

Juneteenth is the newest Federal Holiday – and it’s also the first one that was established since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was created in 1983.

“Juneteenth National Independence Day”, is a holiday steeped in history, recognizing one of the final acts of emancipation of slaves in the U.S. and it takes its name from the literal date on which it falls – June 19th.   Earlier this year, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey announced that Juneteenth will be a state holiday as well, a practice it has followed since 2021.

So, exactly what is Juneteenth?

June 19th of 1865, an announcement was made saying tens of thousands of African-Americans in Texas had been emancipated closing the door on one of the last chapters of slavery in the U.S.  Juneteenth traces its origins all the way back to Galveston, Texas – where Union soldiers led by Major General Gordon Granger – landed in the city, with news that the Civil War had ended and slaves were now FREE.

That announcement came two-and-a-half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of January 1st, 1863 – which freed slaves in Confederate states.  However, since that proclamation was made during the Civil War, it was ignored by Confederate states and it wasn’t until the end of the war that the Executive Order was enforced in the South.

How is Juneteenth being observed?

Many Juneteenth special events are taking place in Washington, D.C., and  one special event is at the National Archives Museum, which will display the Emancipation Proclamation and General Order No. 3 – through June 20th.

The National Park Service is also waiving Visitor Entrance Fees – on June 19th.


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