The story behind Juneteenth and how it became a federal holiday

Juneteenth commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the United States.

It originated on June 19, 1865, when Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, to announce the end of slavery.

Granger's General Order No. 3 declared that all slaves were free, marking a significant moment in American history.

The delay in delivering the news was due to the limited presence of Union troops in Texas during the Civil War.

Juneteenth celebrations began in Texas and gradually spread to other states as African Americans migrated across the country.

The holiday gained wider recognition during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, as a symbol of freedom and equality.

Efforts to make Juneteenth a national holiday gained momentum in the 21st century.

On June 17, 2021, President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law.

This act officially made Juneteenth a federal holiday, commemorated annually on June 19th.

Juneteenth becoming a federal holiday underscores the ongoing fight for racial equality and the imperative of acknowledging and remembering the history of slavery in the United States.