IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


20th June, 2024 History


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News Context: Juneteenth

  • Juneteenth, derived from "June" and "nineteenth," commemorates the abolition of slavery in the United States.
  • Observed annually on June 19, it holds significant historical importance in American history.

Emancipation Delayed: The Road to Juneteenth

  • President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, declaring freedom for enslaved individuals in rebellious states.
  • Enslaved African Americans in Confederate territories, including Texas, were not immediately freed due to non-compliance by slave owners.
  • Major General Gordon Granger's arrival in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865, marked the issuance of General Order No. 3, officially ending slavery in Texas and symbolizing Juneteenth.

The Journey to Recognition: From Grassroots to Federal Holiday

  • Advocates began the modern movement for Juneteenth's recognition in 1994, advocating for its national observance.
  • Momentum for recognition surged, especially in the context of 21st-century racial justice movements like Black Lives Matter.
  • President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law on June 17, 2021, establishing Juneteenth as a federal holiday.

Juneteenth Today: Celebrations and Commemorations

  • Juneteenth serves as a symbolic celebration of freedom and the end of slavery for African Americans.
  • Celebrated through community events such as parades, cookouts, prayer gatherings, and educational activities.
  • Landmarks like Emancipation Park in Houston, Texas, hold special significance for Juneteenth celebrations.

Juneteenth Awareness: A Call for Recognition

  • Despite its federal holiday status, only 18 states have passed laws to fund Juneteenth as a paid state holiday as of 2024.
  • Opposition to making Juneteenth a paid holiday often cites concerns about cost and public awareness.
  • Proponents emphasize the importance of recognizing Juneteenth to acknowledge America's history of slavery and promote a more inclusive understanding of American history.


Q. Which of the following statements accurately describes Juneteenth?

A) Juneteenth is celebrated on June 19th every year to mark the end of the Civil War in the United States.

B) Juneteenth commemorates the abolition of slavery in the United States.

C) Juneteenth is observed as a federal holiday in the United States since the 19th century.

D) Juneteenth marks the signing of the Declaration of Independence in the United States 

Correct answer: B) Juneteenth, a portmanteau of "June" and "nineteenth," commemorates the abolition of slavery in the United States.