Did you know? There is more than one Independence Day in the U.S. It’s June 19, 1865—the day all people living in the United States, including the formerly enslaved, were formally given freedom. It’s Juneteeth Day.
Below is the history and interesting Juneteeth Day facts as well as how it’s traditionally celebrated.
What Is Juneteeth Day
Juneteenth, also known as Emancipation Day, Freedom Day, or Juneteenth Independence Day, takes place yearly on June 19. It is a holiday with an aim of commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. The name “Juneteenth” refers to the date of the holiday, combining the words “June” and “nineteenth.”
What Is The Origin of Juneteenth
On June 19, 1865, Union Gen. Gordon Granger went to Galveston, Texas, to inform tens of thousands of enslaved African-Americans of their freedom and that the Civil War had finished.
The announcement put into effect two-and-a-half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of Jan. 1, 1863, that released slaves in Confederate states.
However, because proclamation was made during the Civil War, it was overlooked by Confederate states and it wasn’t until the end of the war that the Executive Order was implemented in the South.
Then, in December 1865, the ratification of the 13th amendment formally eliminated slavery in the United States. It read:
“Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”
How to celebrate Juneteenth
Like other holidays, Juneteeth Day is a special time for family reunions and gatherings. Popular celebrations in the United States include prayer and religious services, speeches, social events, parades, picnics, and festivals with food, music, and dancing.
The holiday is often celebrated by barbecues and the traditional drink – Strawberry Soda – and dessert – Strawberry Pie. Besides, red foods including red rice, watermelon, and red velvet cake, are also popular since it’s a way to commemorate the blood that was dropped during the days of slavery.
Juneteeth Day is also honored outside the United States. It is used to recognize the end of slavery as well as to commemorate African American culture and achievements.
Fun Juneteeth Day Facts You May Not Know
Take a closer at some fantastic facts about this holiday.
Juneteeth Day Fact #1: The period after Juneteenth became known as the ‘Scatter.’
Most freedpeople weren’t interested in staying with the people who had enslaved them. In fact, some people left before Granger had announced. What followed was known as “the scatter” when a large number of enslaved people left the nation to find their family or welcoming place in northern regions.
Juneteeth Day Fact #2: Juneteenth has been honored under various names.
Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, and Cel-Liberation Day, Second Independence Day, and Emancipation Day are one of the popular names.
Juneteeth Day Fact #3: Emancipation Park in Houston, Texas was purchased especially to commemorate Juneteenth.
A former slave, Richard Allen, Richard Brock, Jack Yates, and Elias Dibble bought the 10-acre parcel of land for $800 in 1872.
Juneteeth Day Fact #4: During the early 20th-century Juneteenth commemorations decreased.
The enactment of the Jim Crow law prevented the celebration of freedom. Additionally, the Great Depression made many black farming families away from rural areas and into urban environments to find work – making it difficult to take days off to honor.
Juneteeth Day Fact #5: The Juneteenth celebration was recovered during the civil rights movement.
The Day of the Poor, planned by Martin Luther King Jr, intentionally coincided with the date. The March participants brought the celebrations back to their home country and soon this holiday was reborn.
Juneteeth Day Fact #6: Juneteeth Day is still not a federal holiday
Although most states now recognize Juneteeth Day, it’s not a national holiday. As a senator, Barack Obama co-sponsored legislation to make Juneteenth a national holiday, but it was not passed then or when he was president.
Juneteeth Day Fact #7: The Juneteeth Day flag is full of symbolism
The Juneteenth flag was designed by L.J. Graf. The colors red, white, and blue echo the American flag to show that the enslaved people and their descendants were Americans.
The star in the middle shows honor to Texas, while the star on the “horizon” of the red and blue fields symbolizes new freedom and new people.
Top 5 Best Juneteeth Day Gift Ideas
If you are looking Juneteeth gifts, we’ve got you covered. These ideas will tear at your heartstrings and please you.
Juneteenth T Shirt Freedom Day Black Lives Matter
Support the Juneteenth liberty day celebration with this Juneteenth T Shirt Freedom Day Black Lives Matter. This shirt reads “Juneteenth Freedom Day” which makes it a perfect Juneteeth gift.
It is made of quality fabric type of cotton, making it lightweight and a perfect fit. It comes in a broad selection of colors including Black, Charcoal, Purple, Irish Green, Royal Blue, Navy, Red, and Sport Grey. The best part? It has various sizes ranging from S to 5XL.
Black History Activators
This wonderful documentary is one of the best Juneteenth gifts for your loved ones, showing them about black history in America. The documentary includes some of the most important and essential individuals and events that create black history.
The video emphasizes the importance of civic engagement, advocacy, and activism. It is an amazing documentary for anyone, particularly African American people.
If you’re looking for a practical and budget-friendly Juneteeth gift for your girlfriend, wife, or mom, consider this afro women Juneteenth 1865 black pride throw pillow.
Made of 100% spun polyester fabric with a double side print, it is durable and eye-catching. It will be the centerpiece of the room. Best of all, it’s easy to clean and dry quickly.
African American Wall Art
The African American wall art is a gorgeous Juneteenth gift to honor Juneteeth. Printed with high-quality ink and high definition superior inject machinery, it is waterproof and fade-resistant indoors. So unique and stylish, right?
A Black History Book for Kids
Looking for a Juneteeth gift for kids? This black history book is a great knowledge source for kids to know more about 51 black leaders and role models in ancient and modern times.
It features inspirational biographies of trailblazers from various parts of the world including the United States, Egypt, Britain, and more.
We hope that these interesting Juneteeth Day facts and guides help you understand partly about this special day. Which Juneteeth Day fact surprise you most? If you find this post useful, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. Or if you have any suggestions, please feel free.