June 17, 2021

Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day and Emancipation Day, is a holiday celebrating the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the United States. Originating in Galveston, Texas, it is now celebrated annually on June 19th throughout the United States. It is commemorated on the anniversary date of the June 19, 1865 announcement of General Order No. 3 by Union Army general Gordon Granger proclaiming freedom from slavery in Texas.
While Juneteenth celebrates the Emancipation Proclamation, which only freed the slaves in the South, the 13th Amendment is what officially ended slavery in the U.S.

The holiday is looking a little different this year than in years past, in large part resulting from the millions of Americans who took to the streets last summer to protest racial injustice in response to the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other Black Americans. The protest movement sparked an ongoing dialogue around systemic racism and police brutality.

Today, 48 States and Washington, D.C recognize Juneteenth as either a state Holiday or ceremonial holiday. Activists have pushed for wider recognition, including designation as a national holiday and acknowledgment by Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange.
The original Juneteenth flag was created in 1997 by Ben Haith, the founder of the National Juneteenth Celebration Foundation. The flag has a blue stripe and a red stripe with a white star in the middle, an outline surrounding the star, and an arc that extends across the width of the flag.