Released: June 10, 2021
Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.
On June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas and announced the end of both the Civil War and slavery. General Granger’s announcement put into effect the Emancipation Proclamation, issued by President Abraham Lincoln, which had legally freed slaves on January 1, 1863, almost 2½ years earlier. Many slaves, particularly in Texas and other southwestern states were not informed of the Emancipation Proclamation until General Granger’s announcement.
The holiday received its name by combining June and 19. The day is also sometimes called “Juneteenth Independence Day,” “Freedom Day” or “Emancipation Day.”
In 1980, Texas became the first state to designate Juneteenth as a holiday. Since then, most other states, including Pennsylvania have declared Juneteenth a state holiday. In 2019, Governor Tom Wolf signed into law Act 9, formerly House Bill 619, which designates June 19 as “Juneteenth National Freedom Day” in Pennsylvania.
On Saturday, June 19th there will be a Juneteenth celebration at the Veterans Memorial in Newtown Square from 9am-1pm.
Council is proud to officially recognize June 19 as Juneteenth in Delaware County, which serves as a day for residents to celebrate the ending of slavery in the United States and an opportunity for our entire community to learn more about African American history, which will contribute to a deeper understanding of the experiences that have shaped African Americans and our Country.