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Juneteenth National Freedom Day


In 2019, PA Governor Wolf signed legislation which designates June 19 as “Juneteenth National Freedom Day” in Pennsylvania. Juneteenth, a portmanteau of June and nineteenth, marks June 19, 1865, when union soldiers reached Galveston, Texas, the furthest point in the south, with news of the end of the Civil War. Slaves were previously unaware they had been freed more than two years earlier when President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, or that Confederate General Robert E. Lee had surrendered in Virginia two months earlier. Juneteenth is an official holiday in Philadelphia. All city offices are closed, and all city-services are suspended for the day. Juneteenth commemorates African American freedom and emphasizes education and achievement. For more information see