Utah Gov. Spencer Cox on March 24, 2022 signed a law to make Juneteenth National Freedom Day a state holiday, a day commemorating the end of slavery in the U.S.
Also known as June Nineteenth, the holiday marks the day in 1865 when Union troops arrived in Texas more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation to tell remaining enslaved African Americans that the Civil War had ended and that they were free. The holiday has been celebrated by Black Americans since the late-19th century.
History of Juneteenth
Texas experienced very little, large-scale fighting during the Civil War and as a result, Texas was seen as a safe haven for slave owners. Many enslavers moved to Texas. They moved there to flee the fighting and they brought their slaves with them. Sadly, slavery continued in Texas, even after the end of the Civil War.
On June 19, 1865, two and a half years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, and two months after the end of the Civil War. Federal troops arrived in Galveston Texas and took control of the state and under General Order No. 3, enforced the Emancipation Proclamation, finally freeing all enslaved people in the United States and eventually the 250,000 enslaved people in Texas.
“Jubilee Day” or what we now call Juneteenth, is celebrated as a national holiday. It has been set aside to honor the end of slavery in the United States.
[Sources: What Is Juneteenth? – HISTORY | What Is Juneteenth? African American History Blog (PBS)]
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- Utah makes Juneteenth a state holiday (Salt Lake Tribune)
- What is Juneteenth and why does it matter in Utah today? (KSL)
- Utah Juneteenth Festival | Facebook
- Utah State University – Juneteenth 2022
Juneteenth Fathers of Freedom…Honoring the Original Colored Troops and Blacks In the Military
Schedule of Events:
- State of Black Utah Town Hall (Weber State, Davis Campus): Friday June 10, 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. | 2750 University Park Blvd. Layton UT | Davis Campus, Bldg. D3
- Lynching Memorial Soil Collection Project by Sema Hadithi Foundation: Saturday June 11, 10:00 a.m. – 1 p.m. | South Steps of Capital Building 350 State St | SLC
- Children’s Festival (Columbus Center, S. SLC): Saturday June 11, 2 p.m. – 7 p.m. | 2531 S 400 E | South Salt Lake City
- Juneteenth Bruch (SpyHop Rooftop): Sunday June 12, 12 p.m. | 208 W 900 S | SLC UT
- National Flag Day, Juneteenth Flag Raising (SLC): Tuesday June 14, 11 a.m. | 451 S State St | SLC, UT
- Flag Raising (Salt Lake County): Friday June 17, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. | 2001 S State St, Salt Lake City
- Juneteenth Welcome Reception: Friday June 17, 6:00 p.m.- 11:00 p.m. | Copper Nickel, 2450 Grant Ave, Ogden
- Utah Juneteenth Celebration (Ogden City Amphitheater): Saturday June 18, 12:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. | 343 E 2th St, Ogden
- Juneteenth Celebration with REAL Salt Lake: Saturday June 18 | 9256 S State St | Sandy UT
- Utah Juneteenth Celebration (Ogden City Amphitheater): Sunday June 19, 12:00 p.m. – 7 p.m. | 343 E 2th St, Ogden
- Juneteenth Skate Party (Millcreek Community Center): Sunday June 19 | 2266 E Evergreen Ave, Salt Lake City
- Utah Juneteenth Holiday Health & Wellness Expo, National Sickle Cell Day: June 20, 12 p.m. – 7 p.m. | Gallivan Center 239 S Main St | SLC UT
- Excellence in Community Gospel Concert: Monday June 20, 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. | Gallivan Center 239 S Main St | SLC UT
- Juneteenth Black Women’s Mural Project Unveiling with Better Days Utah and Sema Hadithi Foundation: Monday June 27 | 444 E 600 S | SLC UT
- Juneteenth Beloved Community Vigil: Monday June 30, 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. | International Peace Gardens 1160 Dalton Ave S | SLC UT
- Celebrate Juneteenth! by Read Across America