Juneteenth commemorates the effective end of slavery in the United States. Short for “June Nineteenth,” it marks the day when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas in 1865 to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people be freed. The troops’ arrival came a full two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.
Today Juneteenth commemorates African American freedom and emphasizes education and achievement. On June 17, 2021, it officially became a federal holiday.