Happy Juneteenth!

June 19, 2019

Credit: David Paul Morris / Stringer / Getty Images News

Juneteenth, or Freedom Day is celebrated on June 19th as a commemoration of the June 19, 1865 announcement of the abolition of slavery.

First celebrated in Texas it spread its way across many southern states and is now recognized as a state holiday or observation day in 45 states. Traditions include public readings of the Emancipation Proclamation, singing traditional songs such as "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" and "Lift Every Voice and Sing", and reading of works by noted African-American writers such as Ralph Ellison and Maya Angelou. Celebrations include rodeos, street fairs, cookouts, family reunions, park parties, historical reenactments, and Miss Juneteenth contests.

Some organizations, such as the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation are seeking a Congressional designation of Juneteenth as a national day of observance.