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Hint: it isn’t new

It’s been cause for celebration since this day in 1865.

This day, celebrated for 155 years.

June 19th.


The day on which the very last persons held in bondage in the Confederacy learned of their freedom.

It began that day, 155 years ago, in Texas:

(It) was on June 19th (1865) that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation – which had become official January 1, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on the Texans due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new Executive Order. However, with the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865, and the arrival of General Granger’s regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance.


…The celebration of June 19th was coined “Juneteenth” and grew with more participation from descendants. The Juneteenth celebration was a time for reassuring each other, for praying and for gathering remaining family members. Juneteenth continued to be highly revered in Texas decades later, with many former slaves and descendants making an annual pilgrimage back to Galveston on this date.1

And it spread from there — with ups and downs as conditions and circumstances changed, but never disappearing, never diminishing in its importance.

First officially recognized in Texas in 1980, it is today marked as either a state holiday or ceremonial holiday in most states.2

Even Google with its video doodle above is marking Juneteenth.

A day of celebration.

A day of reflection.

A day of self-education.

A day of activism.

A day to look at history and reflect and grow and learn.


Nothing new — except its significance to us all in the times in which we live.

Cite/link to this post: Judy G. Russell, “Recognizing Juneteenth,” The Legal Genealogist ( : posted 19 June 2020).


  1. History of Juneteenth,” ( : accessed 19 June 2020).
  2. Wikipedia (, “Juneteenth” rev. 19 June 2020.
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