June 19th
Celebrating Emancipation in America


Source: Juneteenth Celebration Lansing Michigan www.lansingjuneteenthcelebration.org/

Also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, Juneteenth is the oldest celebration of the ending of slavery in America. It marks the day on June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the Civil War had ended and that all enslaved people were free. This was two and a half years after President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation - which had become official January 1, 1863. As in other regions, the Emancipation Proclamation had had little impact on the Texans since there were so few Union troops to enforce the new Executive order. However, with the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865, and the arrival of General Granger's regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to overcome the resistance of the Texas slave owners.

Today Juneteenth commemorates African American freedom and emphasizes education and achievement. It is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. From its Galveston, Texas origin in 1865, the observance of June 19th as the African American Emancipation Day has spread across the United States and beyond.

The following resources have been reviewed for classroom use by SCORE History-Social Science. If you find or have written other resources, particularly lessons, please email the url or draft lesson to me at peg_hill@sbcss.k12.ca.us.

Margaret Hill, Director
SCORE History-Social Science

Web Resources

History of Juneteenth
Juneteenth began in Texas when Major General Gordon Granger of the Union Army led his troops into the city of Galveston. There, on June 19, 1865, he officially proclaimed freedom for slaves in that state through General Order Number 3. Read this order and learn about the history of Juneteenth where it first started. Standards 8.10.4 and 8.10.7

Juneteeth, which began in Galveston in 1865, is a celebration of the ending of slavery. It has become a worldwide celebration to commemorate African American freedom. This site focuses on the 140th anniversary in 2005. Standard 3.4.3

Official Site of the Juneteenth Holiday Campaign
This site is a place to get resolutions, images, and other information to create a state or national Juneteenth holiday.

Juneteenth Celebration - A Local Legacy
Juneteenth is the name for a holiday celebrating June 19, 1865, the day when Union soldiers arrived in Texas and spread the word that President Lincoln had delivered his Emancipation Proclamation. Although Juneteenth has been informally celebrated each year since 1865, it wasn't until June 3, 1979, that Texas became the first state to proclaim Emancipation Day (Juneteenth) an official state holiday. Standards 1.3.2, 1.5.1 and 2.5

This Encarta site has a brief description of Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day. This is an annual holiday celebrated on June 19 in the United States to commemorate the ending of slavery. Standards 8.10.4 and 8.10.7

Children’s Literature

Freedom’s Gifts: A Juneteenth Story
by Valerie Wilson Wesley. Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, 1997. Grades 2-5
Juneteenth: Freedom Day by Muriel Miller Branch. Dutton Juvenile, 1998. Grades 5-8

Juneteenth (On My Own Holidays) by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson and Drew Nelson. Millbrook Press, 2005. Grades 2-5

Juneteenth: A Day to Celebrate Freedom from Slavery (Finding Out About Holidays) by Angela Leeper. Enslow Elementary, 2004. Grades 3-5.

Juneteenth: Celebrating the End of Slavery (Reading Room Collection)
by Janey Levy. Rosen Publishing, 2003. Grades K-2

Juneteenth: Jubilee for Freedom (First Facts) by June Preszler. First Facts Books, 2006. Grades K-2
* * * *
Page developed by Dr. Margaret Hill, Director, SCORE History Social Science. These books and others may be found on SCORE History-Social Science at History/Social Science Literature K- 6 http://score.rims.k12.ca.us/literature/