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Juneteenth resources at Pepperdine University Library

What is Juneteenth?

“Juneteenth celebrates the end of slavery in the United States. It is also known as Emancipation Day, Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Juneteenth Independence Day, and Black Independence Day. On June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, TX, and announced the end of the civil war and the end of slavery. Although the Emancipation Proclamation came 2½ years earlier on January 1, 1863, many enslavers continued to hold enslaved Black people captive after the announcement, and Juneteenth became a symbolic date representing African-American freedom.1

On June 17, 2021, Juneteenth became a federal holiday.

1. Erin M Smith, “Juneteenth: Fact Sheet,” Congressional Research  Service, June 21, 2021,


Early Juneteenth Celebration

Grace Murray Stephenson and family at an Emancipation Day Celebration in 1900. (Austin History Center, Austin Public Library)

Background on Juneteenth