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.
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., 48 states officially recognize the observance. North Dakota most recently made the observance official in 2021. The Hawaii legislature passed SB939 to include Juneteenth as a state observance. As of April 29, 2021, the bill is in Governor Ige’s hands. The remaining state, South Dakota, passed SB71 in support of legally recognizing the holiday in 2021. However, the bill failed in the House at the beginning of March.
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.
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:
- Read the Emancipation Proclamation
- Watch documentaries about the announcement in Texas
- Juneteenth Jamboree by PBS
- A Time to Be Remembered (A Juneteenth Story) written by Hank Gray
- Attend a festival and share your experiences
- Read stories about Juneteenth to your children or for your own enlightenment
- All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom by Angela Johnson and illustrated by E.B. Lewis
- The Story of Juneteenth: An Interactive History Adventure by Steven Otfinoski
- Raise a Juneteenth flag which is half red, half blue with a white 5 point star in the middle. The star is surrounded by a white 12 point star. The flag symbolizes Texas bursting with freedom and the end of slavery.
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 FreeBSD DAY
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 www.freebsd.org. Share your experiences with FreeBSD. While exploring the possibilities, join the discussion using #FreeBSDDay on social media.
NATIONAL FreeBSD DAY HISTORY
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.
NATIONAL WATCH 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!
NATIONAL WATCH DAY HISTORY
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.
NATIONAL GARFIELD THE CAT DAY
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.
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 HISTORY
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.
- National Kouign Amann Day
- American Eagle Day
- International Nystagmus Day
- National Hike with a Geek Day
- National Vanilla Milkshake Day
- National Ice Cream Soda Day
- Father’s Day – Third Sunday in June
- Turkey Lovers’ Day – Third Sunday in June
- Anne and Samantha Day – Summer and Winter Solstice
- National Seashell Day – First Day of Summer
- Summer Begins – Longest Day of the Year
The first modern baseball game is played between the New York Knickerbockers and the New York Nine. Using an established set of rules to define the game, the Nine defeated the Knickerbockers 23-1.
Washington state celebrates the first Father’s Day in the United States.
The Communication Act of 1934 establishes the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The FCC replaced the Federal Radio Commission.
The Charlotte Speedway in North Carolina hosted the first NASCAR Strictly Stock race.
Convicted spies, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are executed by electrocution at the Sing Sing Prison in Ossining, New York.
Valentina Tereshkova returns to Earth aboard the Vostok 6. The first woman to travel in space spent 71 hours orbiting the Earth.
Recipe of the Day
Easy Corn Beef & Cabbage
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: All Day
1 4-5 lb. corned beef
5 or 6 medium potatoes
1 medium head of cabbage
6 to 7 medium carrots
1 large yellow onion
Slice potatoes into quarters.
Cut carrots into thirds.
Cut onion in half and chop each half into eight pieces.
Slice/chop cabbage down to pieces about 1 inch long.
Pour 1/2 cup of water into crock pot and place corn beef into middle.
Surround the beef with the vegetables.
Find the meat packaging for the seasoning packet supplied with the corn beef. Pour the seasoning over the meat and vegetables.
Cover crock pot with lid, turn onto medium and let cook.
Lou Gehrig – 1903
The American first baseman played 17 seasons with the New York Yankee. His superior batting ability gained him the nickname “The Iron Horse.”
Salman Rushdie – 1947
Born in India, the British author published his 18th book in 2019. Some of his works include The Jaguar Smile, The Satanic Verses, and Quichotte.
Phylicia Rashad – 1948
Best known for her roles as Clair Huxtable on The Cosby Show and Carol Clarke in This is Us. She is also the sister of actress Debbie Allen. Rashad joined her sister on the set of Grey’s Anatomy in 2021 for one episode.
Kathleen Turner – 1954
The American actress gained prominence in the 1980s with films such as Romancing the Stone and The War of the Roses.
Paula Abdul – 1962
The American singer, songwriter, choreographer, and actress rose to fame in the 1980s after a stint as a Laker Girl and the squad’s head choreographer. Her first hits included “Forever Your Girl” and “Head over Heels”. She also serves as a judge on American Idol as well as several other competition shows.
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!
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.