More and more Americans are observing Juneteenth, a holiday that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. How much do you know about this important moment in history?
Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, the day Union Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger (pictured here) informed slaves of their emancipation from slavery. In what town did this event take place?
Granger delivered the news, known as General Orders, No. 3, in Galveston, Texas.
Granger’s announcement actually came almost three years after the famous executive order abolishing slavery, issued by then-President Abraham Lincoln.
Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation outlawed slavery in Texas and other states that had rebelled against the Union. However, southern states were enraged by the edict, and news of it was slow to travel and often reluctantly spread. Additionally, Texas was seldom visited by Union troops, who were the main enforcers of the news.
Lincoln’s executive order outlawed slavery in rebel states, but not Union states. What two Union border states continued to practice slavery up until the constitutional abolition of slavery in 1865?
Slavery remained technically legal among union states until 1865, and some areas of Delaware and Kentucky continued the practice until that time.
Which Constitutional Amendment officially abolished slavery across the United States?
The 13th Amendment, ratified on December 6, 1865, officially abolished chattel slavery in the United States.
Approximately how many slaves were estimated to be in the United States in the early 1860s before slavery was outlawed?
It’s estimated that more than 3.9 million slaves were in the United States as of 1860 – the most precise estimate showing 3,953,760 people enslaved. It’s estimated that only 500,000 Black individuals lived as free persons during that time.
Which state was the first to recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday?
Texas was the first state to recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday on January 1, 1980.
Is Juneteenth a federal holiday?
Juneteenth is now a federal holiday. On June 17, 2021, President Joe Biden signed a bill in observance of Juneteenth National Independence Day.
A revised red, white and blue flag honoring Juneteenth was introduced in 2000. What symbol is at the center of the flag?
The flag, created by activist Ben Haith, founder of the National Juneteenth Celebration Foundation, has a white star in the middle representing the Lone Star State of Texas as well as the freedom of African Americans in all 50 states. The star is surrounded by a burst and placed in front an arc which represents a “new horizon” for Black Americans.
What’s another name often used to commemorate Juneteenth?
Juneteenth is often referred to as Freedom Day, along with Emancipation Day and Jubilee Day.
Which of the following former US presidents did not commemorate Juneteenth with either a presidential proclamation or remark during their administration?
Every president from Bill Clinton to Joe Biden has commemorated Juneteenth with either an official proclamation or remark.