This Day in History

June 19, 1865: “Juneteenth” Emancipation Day

Time Periods: Reconstruction Period: 1865 - 1876
Themes: African American, Reconstruction, Slavery and Resistance

June 19 — Juneteenth or Emancipation Day is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. Why is this not a national holiday to celebrate independence?

It is reported that on June 19, 1865, Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas. They brought the news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free.

Parade in Richmond, Virginia for Emancipation Day, April 3, 1905. Source: Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries. Click for more information.

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Find resources below for teaching outside the textbook about the Abolition Movement, Civil War, and Reconstruction.