Juneteenth in Maryland in 2025

  How long until Juneteenth?
  Dates of Juneteenth in Maryland
2025 Jun 19
Thu, Jun 19Regional Holiday
Thu, Jun 19Regional Holiday
2024 Jun 19
Wed, Jun 19Regional Holiday
Wed, Jun 19Regional Holiday
2023 Jun 19
Mon, Jun 19Regional Holiday
Mon, Jun 19Regional Holiday
2022 Jun 20
Mon, Jun 20Regional Holiday (in lieu)
Mon, Jun 20Regional Holiday (in lieu)
2021 Jun 18
Fri, Jun 18Regional Holiday (in lieu)
Fri, Jun 18Regional Holiday (in lieu)

Juneteenth is a federal holiday and state holiday in several states. It commemorates the date in 1865 when news of the emancipation of African American slaves reached Galveston

  Juneteenth in other countries
Juneteenth internationally
  Which regions observe Juneteenth in 2025?
National Holiday Regional Holiday Not a public holiday Govt Holiday
  MarylandJun 19
  USAJun 19
Related holidays

When is Juneteenth?

Juneteenth National Independence Day is a US federal holiday. It was signed into law by President Joe Biden on Thursday June 17th 2021.

Juneteenth is a state holiday observed in 29 states and D.C. on June 19th each year.

If June 19th falls on a weekend, the federal holiday and most state holidays will observe a holiday on the closest working weekday. In New Jersey, Juneteenth is observed as a state and public holiday on the third Friday in June. 

All other states officially recognize Juneteenth and have an official observance of the day, and most states hold celebrations. 

Nearly 4 in 10 employers (39%) offer June 19th as a paid holiday, according to 2023 data from Mercer. That's up from the 30% of employers that offered Juneteenth as a paid holiday last year, according to survey data from the Wisconsin-based International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans; and up significantly from the 9% that offered it in 2021, when it became an officially recognized federal holiday.

Officially known as Emancipation Day and also called Juneteenth Independence Day and Freedom Day, Juneteenth is a portmanteau word for June and nineteenth and commemorates the June 19th 1865 announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas and the emancipation of African-American slaves throughout the Confederate South.

History of Juneteenth

On January 1st 1863, Abraham Lincoln declared the end of slavery with the Emancipation Proclamation. Two and half years later, and two months after the end of the Civil War, Union troops arrived in Galveston on June 19th 1865 to find that news of the proclamation had not yet reached Galveston and that people were still being held as slaves in Texas.

The leader of the Union Troops, General Gordon Granger then formally announced the emancipation from the balcony of the former Confederate Army headquarters.

Granger’s order was based loosely on Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. (The Thirteenth Amendment, which made slavery unconstitutional, wasn’t ratified until December 6, 1865.) The order first declared that the formerly enslaved were free based on “absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property” between Black people and those who had presumed legal ownership of them. 

The reason why the news about the emancipation took so long to reach Texas is subject to speculation. One theory is that the messenger who was originally sent with the news had been killed before he reached Texas. A more likely scenario is that the local slave owners simply held onto the information, ignoring the emancipation order.

Although the news of the emancipation reached towns at different times across the South, there was a collective decision to recognize 19th June as the date of the emancipation. The date of the proclamation itself (January 1st) wasn't considered as the people wanted to mark the date when the slaves' lives were actually affected by the new freedom.

In 1866, thousands of former slaves traveled back to Galveston on June 19 in recognition of their newfound freedom, calling the gathering Jubilee Day. In 1872, when faced with backlash for their pilgrimage back to the island city, a group of Black Americans purchased 10 acres of land in Houston and named it Emancipation Park. It was devoted specifically as a Juneteenth celebration site and is still around to this day.

The annual commemoration of June 19th, which became known as Juneteenth, was seen as a stabilizing and motivating presence in the lives of African-Americans in Texas, who despite their newly-acquired freedom, still faced many uncertainties and challenges.

Celebrations include parades, storytelling, barbecue and baseball. Strawberry soda pop is the drink of choice and the building from which General Granger read the Proclamation is now a historic landmark.

While Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States, it wasn't until 1980 that it was made an official state paid holiday in Texas, through the efforts of Texas state Rep. Al Edwards, D-Houston. Note that state offices are not closed, but are staffed by a "skeleton crew."

When Juneteenth was officially named a national federal holiday in June 2021, the city of Galveston dedicated a 5,000 square-foot mural titled “Absolute Equality” near the location where General Granger announced the news of freedom.

Juneeteenth by State

Juneteenth flag

The Juneteenth flag was created in 1997 by Ben Haith, the founder of the National Juneteenth Celebration Foundation. 

Each element represents a facet of freedom for Black Americans:

The bursting outline around the star is inspired by a nova - a new star, representing a new beginning for the newly freed slaves. The white star in the center of the flag has a dual meaning, Haith said. It represents both Texas, the Lone Star State, but also the freedom of all Black Americans in all 50 states. The curving arc across the width of the flag represents a new horizon: the opportunities and promise that lay ahead for Black Americans. The red, white and blue represents the American flag, a reminder that the enslaved people and their descendants were and are Americans. 

Juneteenth Quiz

Test your knowledge and celebrate Juneteenth with our multiple-choice quiz! Discover the rich history, significance, and cultural impact of Juneteenth as you answer eight thought-provoking questions. Dive into the past and embrace the journey of freedom and equality. Challenge yourself and unlock fascinating insights about this important holiday. Join us in honoring Juneteenth by taking this captivating quiz today!


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