Discover the iCare location
that meets your needs.
Find a Facility   Now Hiring!  

Commemorating and Celebrating Juneteenth, 2024

June 19, 2024

MANCHESTER (June 19, 2024) – 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. 

The Civil War ended in the summer of 1865 but only through the Thirteenth Amendment did emancipation end slavery throughout the United States. But not everyone in Confederate territory would immediately be free. Even though the Emancipation Proclamation was made effective in 1863, it could not be implemented in places still under Confederate control.

As a result, in the westernmost Confederate state of Texas, enslaved people would not be free until much later. Freedom finally came on June 19, 1865, when some 2,000 Union troops arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas. The army announced that the more than 250,000 enslaved black people in the state, were free by executive decree known as General Orders No. 3. This day came to be known as “Juneteenth,” by the newly freed people in Texas. 

General Orders No. 3  stated: “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor.”

The enactment of Jim Crow laws dampened the celebration of freedom. In addition, the Great Depression forced many black farming families away from rural areas and into urban environments to seek work— resulting in difficulty taking the day off to celebrate. The Poor People’s March planned by Martin Luther King Jr. was purposely scheduled to coincide with the date. March participants took the celebrations back to their home states and soon the holiday was reborn.

              Source: National Museum of African American History & Culture and The Smithsonian

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. On behalf of iCare Health Network, we wish you a joyous and peaceful Juneteenth.