MANCHESTER (June 19, 2023) – Today we celebrate Juneteenth; the oldest known holiday that commemorates the end of slavery in the US. A day to reflect on our history, the fight for freedom and the work that still needs to be done today. A day to celebrate African American culture and celebrate our diverse communities.
Juneteenth commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans by marking the anniversary of the announcement of General Order No. 3 by Union Army general Gordon Granger on June 19, 1865, proclaiming freedom for enslaved people in Texas more than two years after the issue of the Emancipation Proclamation the end of the Civil War.
- Juneteenth is also referred to as Emancipation Day, Freedom Day, Jubilee Day and Liberation Day.
- Opal Lee is known as the “grandmother of Juneteenth.” The Texas activist worked for years to have Juneteenth recognized nationwide. She attended the presidential signing of the bill into law.
- Juneteenth National Independence Day is the first federal holiday established since Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 1983 and is at least the 11th federal holiday recognized by the US federal government.
- Former Texas state representative Al Edwards was known as the “father of Juneteenth.” Edwards sponsored the bill that made Juneteenth a state holiday in 1980.
- More than half of the states recognize Juneteenth as a paid state holiday, and all states have some recognition or observance, according to the Pew Research Center.
On behalf of iCare Health Network, we wish you a joyous and peaceful Juneteenth.