Juneteenth commemorates when the last enslaved African Americans learned they were free 155 years ago. Now, with support growing for the racial justice movement, 2020 may be the year the holiday reaches a new level of recognition.
Juneteenth is a blend of the words June and 19th. It’s the day in 1865 when Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, to inform the last enslaved black people they were free after the Civil War. Juneteenth celebrations began the next year in Galveston and eventually reached other states.
While the coronavirus pandemic is moving many celebrations online, states, cities and companies are moving to make the day an official holiday.