Juneteenth, which observes the end of slavery in the United States, is a long-celebrated holiday occurring annually on June 19. Here are three things to know about this American tradition:
- Juneteenth is widely celebrated nationwide. Events typically include picnics, barbecues family gatherings, festivals, parades, public readings of the Emancipation Proclamation and storytelling.
- While the Emancipation Proclamation was signed on January 1, 1863, it wasn’t until June 19, 1865 that the executive order was officially enforced nationwide. Juneteenth, a portmanteau of June and nineteenth, is the anniversary of this occasion.
- Juneteenth is not a Federal holiday — yet. Efforts are underway for formal national recognition of the holiday by Congress.