Juneteenth holiday exhibit on display in Adams Library

An exhibit about the history of the Juneteenth holiday is on display in the Adams Library lobby through the month of June.

Juneteenth, or Emancipation Day, commemorates June 19, 1865, the date that a Union ship sailed into Galveston, Texas, and the city was informed that the Civil War had ended and that all slaves in Texas were free.

Celebrations of June 19, or “Juneteenth,” began in Texas in 1866 and spread to the neighboring states of Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma, and to other states as African-American Texans migrated. The holiday observances continued into the early 20th century, declining during the push for integration during the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

During the ’70s, there was a resurgence of the Juneteenth celebration, and in 1980, Texas was the first state to make it an official state holiday. Today, 31 states celebrate Juneteenth as an official holiday or state observance, and a movement has been underway to make Juneteenth a federal observance.