Juneteenth National Independence Day falls on Sunday, June 19, 2022, and is a federal holiday according to the Office of Personnel Management. Most federal employees will receive the following Monday as a day off of work.
The newest Federal holiday was signed into law on June 17, 2021, by President Joe Biden to commemorate the end of slavery in the U.S. following the conclusion of the Civil War.
The day has been celebrated annually around the country since 1865 when a Union General arrived in Galveston, Texas, and informed the enslaved African Americans that the Confederacy had lost the war and that they were free as per the Emancipation Proclamation, which was inked in 1863. In many parts of the country, the proclamation was not implemented until the army enforced it.
Texas was the first state to codify the date into law in 1980 and was the only state to have the day as a paid holiday for state employees in 2020. Since then, at least eight states — New York, Maine, Louisiana, Virginia, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Washington and Illinois — have followed, according to AP.
The next federal holiday is Independence Day on Monday, July 4th. The holiday commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Independence on the same day in 1776 marking the colonies unified intention to secede from the British Empire. Fighting in the Revolutionary War would continue until 1783 when the Treaty of Paris was signed in September and the United States was officially separate from the empire.
Ryan White is a reporting intern at Sightline Media. He is currently a senior at The University of Maryland, College Park studying journalism.