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Juneteenth - June 19 - emancipation, liberty, end of slavery, texas, freedom, festivals, culture, history, civil war

JUNETEENTH (June 19th)

Each year Juneteenth (June 19th) commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. The celebration takes place each year on June 19th, recognizing an event that took place in Texas in 1865.

The story of Juneteenth begins in Texas when Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston on June 19, 1865, with an announcement. As the community listened to the reading of General Orders, Number 3, the people of Galveston learned for the first time that the Civil War was over. After more than a century of slavery and years of war, it was official. All slaves were now freedmen.

“…the 19th of June wasn’t the exact day the Negro was freed. But that’s the day they told them that they was free… And my daddy told me that they whooped and hollered and bored holes in trees with augers and stopped it up with [gun] powder and light and that would be their blast for the celebration.” – Haye Turner, former slave.

News traveled slowly, even stubbornly during and after the War between the States. Over two years earlier, President Abraham Lincoln and Secretary of State William H. Seward signed the Emancipation Proclamation. Only two months before Major General Granger arrived in Galveston, General Lee surrendered at Appomattox. And the country was already mourning the assassination of President Lincoln. Just weeks before Granger arrived, the official final surrender took place. And yet, this community in the west remained the last to know of their freedom. They required word, official word, to feel the effects of what was already happening in the rest of the country.

Emancipation Timeline

January 1, 1863 – Emancipation Proclamation signed
April 9, 1865 – General Robert E. Lee surrenders to General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House, Virginia
April 14, 1865 – John Wilkes Booth assassinates President Abraham Lincoln – Lincoln dies April 15, 1865
May 12, 1865 – Final battle of Civil War at Palmito Ranch, Texas  (Confederate victory)
May 26, 1865 – Civil War officially ends when General Simon Bolivar Buckner of the Army of Trans-Mississippi enters terms of surrender
June 19, 1865 – Major General Gordon Granger arrives in Galveston, Texas
December 6, 1865 – 13th Amendment abolishing slavery ratified
August 20, 1866 – President Andrew Johson proclaims conflict officially resolved and peace restored

The Spread of Juneteenth

Chiefly, the celebration of Juneteenth grew from the profound experiences that day when many learned of their freedom. From that freedom, it grew out of the surmounting challenges that lay ahead. And it continues to grow from the perseverance required and the dignity to overcome adversity and achieve fulfillment.

Juneteenth is also known as Freedom Day

Year after year, waves of people pilgrimaging to Galveston stand in one of the last places to receive the news. The celebrations spread much like the news spread to Galveston about freedom, slowly at first and then picking up speed. But Galveston isn’t the only place celebrations take place. Juneteenth Jubilees happen all over the country and world. In 2015, Juneteenth celebrated its 150th anniversary and celebrations spread around the globe.

In the U.S., 47 states officially recognize the observance. New Hampshire most recently made the observance official in 2019. The remaining three states are Hawaii, North Dakota, and South Dakota. While the celebration is not a federal holiday, presidents have either remarked on the observance or released full messages specific to Juneteenth for the last two decades. However, no single president has proclaimed the observance, even for a single year.

HOW TO OBSERVE #Juneteenth

Join the oldest celebration of the end of slavery by exploring art, food, and history. Dive into the festivals celebrating the African-American culture that are integral to Juneteenth. Across the country, communities, vendors, galleries, and more, host delicious food, art, music, dance, and parades. All the while, the history of Juneteenth remains central to the festivities. There are many ways to experience the observance:

Find a festival or event near you. Share your experiences, photos, and stories using #Juneteenth to share on social media.


Since General Major Gordon Granger reached Galveston on June 19, 1865, Juneteenth (coined by combining June and nineteenth), has grown in waves. With the 150th anniversary, the celebration reached worldwide attention.

NATIONAL FLIP FLOP DAY - Third Friday in June


Each year on the third Friday in June, National Flip Flop Day encourages us to wear our favorite flip flops and show them off!

Thong style sandals are by no means new to footwear. They’ve been around for thousands of years. However, the term “flip flop” has applied to flat-soled sandals with straps between the first and second toes and across the top of the foot since the 1960s. The term also describes someone who changes their mind or an electronic component.

This day strictly recognizes the footwear that makes a flip-flopping sound as we walk, slapping the back of our feet as we head to the beach or make way for the pool. They come in all shades and colors, beaded, bejeweled, and bedazzled. Some are made of leather and cork.

The lightweight footwear is designed to protect our tender feet from the hot ground and sand. They’re also easy to remove and put on quickly. Many flip flops go from the beach to semi-formal dining in an instant, too!

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalFlipFlopDay

Flip Flop Day is the perfect time to go shopping for a new pair of flip flops. While you’re out and about, get a manicure, so you can show off your toes in your flip flops. Wear your favorite flip flops and use #NationalFlipFlopDay to share on social media.


In 2007, Tropical Smoothie Cafe created National Flip Flop Day to celebrate its 10th anniversary. Every year on this date, customers who come into participating Cafes across the nation wearing flip-flops receive a free Jetty Punch Smoothie. Tropical Smoothie then gives proceeds of a $1 paper flip flop from customers to send ill children and their families to Camp Sunshine.

Camp Sunshine is based in Casco, Maine, whose mission focuses solely on addressing the effects of a life-threatening illness on every member of the immediate family — the child, the parents, and the siblings. This year-round program is free of charge to families.

In 2015, $1 million was raised by Tropical Smoothie Cafe for Camp Sunshine. The total amount raised since the beginning in 2007 is over $3.7 million, making National Flip Flop Day a successful fundraiser for Camp Sunshine.



National FreeBSD Day on June 19th commemorates the launch date of an innovative technology that many of us use every day.

The open-source operating system called FreeBSD developed out of the University of California at Berkley in 1993. Billions of people around the globe use FreeBSD to teach operating system concepts in universities. Companies also develop products on FreeBSD, and universities use it as a research platform.

While you may not be familiar with FreeBSD, there’s a good chance you’re already using at least some code derived from it in your everyday life. For example, do you stream movies via Netflix? How about chat with friends on WhatsApp? Maybe you play the latest PlayStation 4 game sensation. If so, you’re already using FreeBSD.

As a pioneer in open-source technology, users can modify and redesign FreeBSD to meet their needs, free of charge within the guidelines of the license. Through a network of users, the software keeps pace with today’s technology and prepares us for what’s ahead.


Learn more about FreeBSD, its history, and its applications at Share your experiences with FreeBSD. While exploring the possibilities, join the discussion using #FreeBSDDay on social media.


FreeBSD Foundation founded National FreeBSD Day to recognize its pioneering and continuing impact on technology and honor its legacy. Commemorating the launch date of FreeBSD, June 19th, was selected.

On June 15, 2017, the Registrar at National Day Calendar declared the day to be officially observed on June 19th, annually.

WEAR BLUE DAY – Friday Before Father’s Day


Men’s health is the focus of Wear BLUE Day on June 14th. By wearing blue, you are saying you support the men in your life to lead a healthy lifestyle, and you care about their well-being.

As part of the campaign that includes Men’s Health Month and Men’s Health Week in June, Wear BLUE Day encourages us to take stock of our health choices and become more aware of health risks. Men are more likely to skip health checkups than women. At the same time, they are more likely to take chances with their health choices. The three leading causes of death for mean according to the Centers for Disease Control are cancer, heart disease, and accidents.

The Wear BLUE Campaign provides an opportunity for employers, communities, and other organizations to hold events to raise awareness about concerns surrounding men’s health and how they can take charge. The day is also a way for loved ones to show their encouragement for the men in their lives.


Sponsor a Wear BLUE fundraiser to raise money for prostate cancer or to provide education about diabetes, heart disease, or stroke. To find out more, visit it comes to getting healthy or staying there, sometimes a checklist helps. We created a list of 7 Simple Ways to Improve Health that will put you in the mood to wear blue.

As you take part, be sure to use #WearBlueDay to share on social media.


The Men’s Health Network founded the Wear BLUE Day campaign to raise awareness concerning men’s health.



On the third Friday in June, North American workers celebrate National Take Back the Lunch Break Day.

Why? Because there’s been an increasing trend to take less frequent and shorter lunch breaks, affecting employee morale and well-being. According to Gallup, only one in three employees are engaging at work. Because engagement affects productivity, happiness and job satisfaction, employees and employers across North America need to step up to the plate – the lunch plate that is!

According to a 2017 study commissioned by Tork, an Essity brand, employees who take lunch breaks are more likely to report being efficient at work and satisfied with their jobs. The survey reveals that nearly 90 percent of employees consider the ability to take a lunch break critical when accepting a new job. However, once they are on the job, the average lunch break is less than 30 minutes for more than half of North American workers – barely enough time to purchase a meal, let alone enjoy it.

That is why Tork created National Take Back the Lunch Break Day to help improve workplace morale, satisfaction, and productivity across North America.


Break the cycle of skipping lunch or eating in front of a computer. Get away from your desk and enjoy some fresh air, a real lunch, and some social interaction. There are several ways to help you get away for lunch:

  • Set a reminder on your phone telling you to take lunch. Then take it.
  • Get a buddy who will take lunch with you. Then go outside, to the break area or anywhere away from your desk for lunch.
  • Pack a lunch that requires a little prep work. Whether it’s in the microwave or needs some mixing up, you’ll want to step away from your desk to do it.
  • Schedule lunches with friends or family. Go to the daycare for lunch or invite an aunt or uncle to lunch at a park.

Use #TakeBackLunch to share your lunch break experience on social media.


Tork created National Take Back the Lunch Break Day in 2018 to counter the decline of the employee lunch break in today’s 24/7 work culture. According to research conducted by Tork, employees who take a lunch break score higher on a wide range of engagement metrics, including job satisfaction and productivity. The Tork Take Back the Lunch Break idea is simple: with more workers taking their lunch break, we can improve workplaces and worker happiness!

In May of 2018, The Registrar at National Day Calendar proclaimed celebration to be observed on the third Friday in June, annually.



On June 19th, shake up some gin and vermouth with ice and add a lemon twist. It’s National Martini Day! 

This adult beverage has grown to become one of the best-known mixed drinks. A traditional or perfect Martini is made with equal parts gin and vermouth. For anyone who has never had a Martini, we have a list of terms to help get you started. 

Martini Lingo
  • Dirty – This Martini includes olive brine or juice from the olive jar.
  • Dry – The vermouth is decreased significantly in the Martini, and gin becomes the primary spirit. Extra dry tips the ratio even further.
  • Gibson – Instead of an olive, bartenders garnish the Martini with a pickled onion.
  • Shaken vs. Stirred – Most bartenders will tell you that the better Martini is stirred. Shaken Martinis tend to be inferior due to a couple of reasons – ice chips water down the drink, and shaking the Martini adds air to the cocktail. A stirred Martini results in a smoother, fuller experience.
  • Straight Up – This Martini may be either shaken or stirred, but it is strained and served without ice – the opposite of a Martini on the rocks. 
  • Smoky or Burnt – Scotch whisky replaces the vermouth in this Martini. A twist of lemon garnishes the glass.
  • Wet – Where the dry Martini has less vermouth, this one has more.
  • With a Twist – The bartender adds a thin strip of citrus peel to the Martini as a garnish or in the drink. 

Shaken, stirred, on the rocks, that’s what you need to know to order traditional Martinis. 

James Bond, the fictional spy, sometimes asked for his vodka Martinis to be “shaken, not stirred.” 

When the James Bond movies debuted in the late 1960s, the popularity of the Martini increased. In the later decades, clear spirits like vodka overtook aged spirits like bourbon in market share. However, in recent decades, a balancing act seems to be taking place. 

Dirty martini – Martini with a splash of olive brine or olive juice and is typically garnished with an olive.

Over the years, the traditional Martini inspired a variety of other cocktails such as the Cosmopolitan, chocolatini, or appletini. 

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalMartiniDay

Order your favorite Martini or Martini-inspired cocktail. Martinis are an excellent cocktail to serve at a small gathering with hors d’oeuvres. Whether you serve a meat and cheese tray or go all out with shrimp, stuffed mushrooms and patè, make it a night to remember. (Remember always to drink responsibly and to designate a sober driver.)

Other fun ways to celebrate the day include:

  • Hosting a cocktail class to learn how to make classic cocktails.
  • Reading a book about the history of bartending.
  • Visiting a local cocktail bar with authentic turn of the 20th-century details.
  • Watching a documentary about the Martini or other famous cocktails.

Use #NationalMartiniDay to share on social media.  


National Day Calendar is researching the origins of this shaken or stirred holiday. In the meantime, won’t you check out these other cocktail holidays?

  • Mojito Day
  • Gin and Tonic Day
  • Bartender Day
  • Mocktail Week
  • Caesar Day
  • Margarita Day



    On June 19th, National Watch Day recognizes an industry that has been around for more than 500 years and is steadily evolving. Choosing a watch is very personal as the choices are vast and numerous. Even with the advent of smartphones and smartwatches, the classic wristwatch signals individual taste, culture, and a rich history that cannot be disputed.

    Enveloped in history and nostalgia, makers crafted watches not only for telling time but as a symbol of something personal. Watches present a statement of who we are. When we pass down timepieces from generation to generation, they often become family heirlooms. Watches also serve as a rite of passage in many cultures, signifying the passage of more than just time – an era perhaps.

    The iconic watch brands also paved the way for new trends like vintage-inspired, slimmer profiles, and affordable luxury. Incorporating design, re-inventing a brand’s signature look often balances traditional aesthetics with modern details. By creating and recreating new concepts, watches became a fashion accessory much like scarves and bags.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalWatchDay

    As we celebrate the day, indulge in a piece that makes a statement. Even today, the watch remains a classic and timeless gift. We often give watches for an anniversary, graduation, or birthday gift. June 19th is the perfect time to give this traditional gift to someone you know. You can also share photos of your favorite watches using #NationalWatchDay on social media.

    Through July 5, 2020, you can celebrate by saving 50% on Apple Watch Bands that come in a variety of colors to fit your every mood. Enjoy the savings as you observe celebrating this National Day!


    Nordstrom founded National Watch Day on June 19th to celebrate the history and design of watchmaking.

    The Registrar at National Day Calendar declared the day to be celebrated annually in 2017.



    Each year on June 19th, National Garfield the Cat Day celebrates the fictional cartoon character, Garfield. Jim Davis created the comic strip Garfield and the title’s protagonist, a tabby cat by the same name. The observance celebrates Garfield and the entertainment he brings us.

    Garfield launched on June 19, 1978. The strip chronicled the life of the lead character, the cat Garfield (named after Jim Davis ’s grandfather). It also introduced Garfield’s owner, Jon Arbuckle and Jon’s dog, Odie. The publication became syndicated in 2013 in roughly 2,580 newspapers and journals and holds the Guinness World Record for being the world’s most widely syndicated comic strip.

    Garfield was one of the cartoon characters to appear in Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue.

    Set in Muncie, Indiana, common themes in the comic strip include Garfield’s laziness, obsessive eating, love for lasagna and coffee, and hatred of Mondays and diets. While the focus is mostly upon the interaction between Garfield, Jon, and Odie, the strip introduces other characters as well. 

    HOW TO OBSERVE #GarfieldTheCatDay

    There are many ways to celebrate the lovable tabby cat! Garfield fans everywhere share the tabby cat’s love of lasagna or contempt for Mondays. But beyond that, they also know he loves to sleep in sunbeams. They’re fond of his sense of humor and understand Jon’s love of animals. In a world of cat lovers, this day offers some fun ways to celebrate.

    • Bake some cookies or cupcakes for Garfield’s birthday.
    • Read the comic strip.
    • Watch a Garfield episode.
    • Share your Garfield collectibles.
    • Take selfies with your tabby cat.
    • See how many Garfields you can name (that aren’t a cat).
    • Pick up a Garfield coloring book.

    Share your favorite comic strip by using #GarfieldTheCatDay on social media.


    National Garfield The Cat Day was first celebrated in 1998 on the 20th anniversary of the comic strip and Garfield’s birthday. Boca Raton City Council Member, Wanda Thayer, proclaimed June 19th as Garfield the Cat Day during surprise birthday party at the International Museum of Cartoon Art in Boca Raton.

    On Deck for June 20, 2020

    National Days

    International Days

    Recipe of the Day

    Old Fashioned Ice Cream
    Prep:  10 minutes
    Cook:  10 minutes
    Total Prep:  20 minutes
    Servings:  4 servings; yields 1 quart


    4 egg yolks
    1/2 cup sugar
    1 cup whole milk
    1 cup heavy cream
    2 teaspoons vanilla


    In a medium saucepan, whisk together egg yolks and sugar over medium heat. Stir to a light yellow and well combined.

    In a separate small pan add milk and warm over medium-low heat, until it begins to simmer. Do not stir.

    Slowly add milk to egg and sugar mixture, stirring continuously.

    Return to heat and bring to 165 degrees. Do not allow to boil.

    Immediately remove from the heat.

    Pour into airtight container and chill.

    Once thoroughly chilled, stir in heavy cream and vanilla extract.

    Process in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.

    Next Week

    Weekly Observances

    In the Classroom

    About National Day Calendar

    National Day Calendar® is the authoritative source for fun, unusual and unique National Days! Since our humble beginnings on National Popcorn Day in 2013, we now track nearly 1,500 National Days, National Weeks and National Months. In addition, our research team continues to uncover the origins of existing National Days as well as discover new, exciting days for everyone to celebrate.

    There’s a celebration for everyone. While National Road Trip Day satisfies the itch to wander, many pet days let us share our love of animals. National 3-D Day and National Astronaut Day honor the advancement of technology, too. Every food day you can imagine (National Avocado Day, for example), will keep you celebrating, also!

    Be sure to stay in the know by signing up for our e-mail updates. Also, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

    Our Ambassador Program is another way #CelebrateEveryDay®! Whether you become an ambassador or follow one of the savvy ambassadors, their fun videos and posts will keep you prepared for every holiday.

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