What is Juneteenth? An explanation of history and importance

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Today, we recognize Juneteenth across the nation and its importance in American history is something worth celebrating.

Juneteenth officially became a recognized federal holiday in 2021, and as a newer holiday on the calendar, its meaning may not be widely known.

The day marks the moment on June 19, 1865 when the last enslaved black people in Galveston, Texas were told they were free.

“My hope is that every state gives people the day off as a paid holiday. My hope is that states that haven’t done that, including Kentucky, will soon start to do that so that people will treat Juneteenth with the same respect as all the other federal holidays that people are given the day off for and that are able to celebrate,” said Ryan Dearbone, president of the Bowling Green Warren County NAACP.

The United States post office, the stock market and WKU are just a few organizations that are closed today in observance of Juneteenth.