Skip to Main Content
 Home  (206) 934-4050  Ask the Library  Book a Study Room  Schedule a Research Appointment  View your Library Account
To find more information about the services offered, visit our Library Services page
Follow the link to our current hours.

Juneteenth: We Honor and Celebrate!

Juneteenth History and Celebration

Juneteenth Celebration of Freedom
Juneteenth Freedom Day image

...all slaves are free in Texas and that there would be an absolute equality of personal rights of property between former slaves and master.-  Major General Gordon Granger, Galveston, Texas, June 19, 1865
(General Order No. 3)

Two and one-half years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation to end slavery, Major General Granger delivered the news to the enslaved in Gavelston, Texas that they were emancipated from slavery and the Civil War had ended. Many slave owners held the enslaved captive after the announcement; Juneteenth became a symbolic date representing Black African American freedom.

Texans began celebrating Juneteenth in 1866. In 2021, Juneteenth became a federal holiday celebrating the emancipation of the generations of enslaved in the United States, also known as Juneteenth National Independence Day, Jubilee Day, Emancipation Day, Freedom Day, and Black Independence Day.
Juneteenth Celebration Quilt

A 21st Century quilt celebrates
Emancipation Day in Texas

Juneteenth commemorates Black African-American freedom and emphasizes education and achievement. It is a day, a week, and in some areas a month marked with community-centric events: parades, cookouts, prayer gatherings, historical and cultural readings, and musical performances.  It is also often observed for celebrating African-American culture.

News and Articles

Ms. Opal Lee, affectionately referred to as the Grandmother of Juneteenth, recalls her visit with President Biden and being on hand for the Juneteenth ceremony that made it a national holiday. Lee had long pushed for Juneteenth to be recognized as a national holiday.
In 2016, she walked 1,400 miles from Fort Worth to Washington, D.C., to bring attention to the holiday, often referred to as Black Independence Day. Juneteenth marks the day freedom was declared for slaves in Texas, the last state in the Confederacy to have institutional slavery.

Legacy of Slavery

Remembering and Honoring Elders

Learning through Fiction

Writing on Freedom

History of Slavery

The U.S. slavery and the United States' wealth and structure development were intertwined and depended upon free labor; this shared history was created by edicts and constitutions, as well as by the actions and reactions of individuals.
Learn more about the history of slavery with this interactive timeline by THIRTEEN Media (PBS). 

Political Action