Juneteenth - a term combining June and nineteenth - is our newest national holiday and the first new federal holiday since the establishment of Martin Luther King, Jr., Day almost forty years ago. President Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law on June 17, 2021, officially designating June 19 a federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. Also known as the “second Independence Day,” or “Emancipation Day,” Juneteenth is a holiday of freedom, hope and commitment to equality. On June 19, 1865, 2,000 federal troops marched into Texas, the westernmost state in the Confederacy and the last state to acknowledge the end of slavery despite Confederate General Lee's surrender two months earlier at the Appomattox Courthouse in Virginia. Major General Gordon Granger read General Order No. 3 to the gathered populace of Galveston: “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.” Granger’s proclamation in Galveston came two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation; the ensuing festivities initiated a tradition that has continued to this day, making Juneteenth the oldest African American celebration in the country. Click here to learn more about Juneteenth; click here to read President Biden’s Juneteenth proclamation; and click on the book jackets below for links to titles in our catalog.