The Dolan Law Firm celebrates and commemorates the importance of Juneteenth, a day that teaches us the importance of continued work towards liberation and highlighting/supporting our black communities in every possible way. It is important to pause and reflect on our nation’s history of oppression, and the resounding call for true liberation and equal justice for all.
What is Juneteenth?
Juneteenth commemorates the true end of slavery in the United States, a significant milestone in American history that remains under-recognized to this day.
President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring the end of slavery in the United States on January 1, 1863. However, enforcement was slow. It took an additional two and a half years for General Gordan Granger to arrive in Galveston, Texas, to announce the end of slavery through General Orders No. 3.
“The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor.”
In other words, enslaved people in Galveston, Texas did not know they had been freed until June 19, 1865. This date marks the true end of slavery in the United States.
On June 17, 2021, Juneteenth became a federal holiday when President Biden signed a resolution supported unanimously by the Senate and with an overwhelming vote by the House in favor. All 50 states and the District of Columbia now recognize Juneteenth as a holiday or observance, and at least 22 states and the District of Columbia have designated Juneteenth as a permanent paid and/or legal holiday through legislation or executive action.
Juneteenth has also been celebrated under various names such as the following:
- Freedom Day
- Jubilee Day
- Liberation Day
- Second Independence Day
- Emancipation Day