Nearly two years after President Abraham Lincoln released the slaves who had been living in slavery in America, Union troops brought the good news of liberation to Galveston Bay, Texas, on June 19, 1865. In what became known as Juneteenth or Freedom Day, more than 250,000 African Americans embraced their freedom. Those Texans remained steadfast in their belief that true liberty would be available to all, with self-determination, citizenship, and democracy amplifying their hopes and desires.

Juneteenth became a national holiday in 2021 and is celebrated on June 19th. Even if you do not celebrate this holiday, it is important to acknowledge it as an American holiday. Simply wish a “Happy Juneteenth!”

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