Juneteenth 2023: What’s open and closed on Monday for the federal holidayFor beginners and those brushing up history, here's how the holiday came to be and how you can mark the occasion.
Juneteenth marks the day in 1865 enslaved people in Galveston, Texas found out they had been freed.A young girl sits on a man's shoulders during the Louisville Juneteenth Festival at the Big Four Lawn on June 19, 2021 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Jon Cherry/Getty Images) Although President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation freed the slaves in 1863, it could not be enforced in many places in the South until the Civil War ended in 1865.
Even then, some white people who had profited from their unpaid labor were reluctant to share the news.Laura Smalley, freed from a plantation near Bellville, Texas, remembered in a 1941 interview that the man she referred to as "old master" came home from fighting in the Civil War and didn’t tell the people he enslaved what had happened."Old master didn’t tell, you know, they was free," Smalley said. "I think now they say they worked them, six months after that.
Six months. And turn them loose on the 19th of June. That’s why, you know, we celebrate that day."News that the war had ended and they were free finally reached Galveston when Union Maj.