Yesterday, President Biden signed into law an act declaring June 19 a legal public holiday designated as “Juneteenth National Independence Day.” Juneteenth is the first federal holiday established since “Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in 1983.

On January 1, 1863, “all enslaved people in Confederate States were declared legally free” under the Emancipation Proclamation. However, “it could not be implemented in places still under Confederate control.” On June 19, 1865, “Union Major General Gordon Granger announced the end of slavery in Galveston, Texas, in accordance with President Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Emancipation Proclamation.Houston learned of it the next day, on June 20, 1865.

Learn more about Juneteenth and ways to celebrate here: