It all started during the Civil War. President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862 which led to the freedom of Black slaves. It was not until the first anniversary in 1865 that the observance of June 19th became a holiday commemorating the African American Emancipation Day.
History records the announcement by Union Army General Gordon Granger proclaiming freedom from slavery in Texas. Thus, while President Abraham Lincoln‘s Emancipation Proclamation had officially outlawed slavery in Texas, enforcement had been slow and inconsistent before Granger’s announcement
Juneteenth has long been celebrated in the African American community as a day for healing and advocacy for Black Americans. However, Juneteenth has only recently come to be recognized federally. It has been just over a year since president Biden signed a bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday.