Celebrate Juneteenth

Freedom Day

June 19, 1865, is known as the actual end of slavery in the United States. Many communities across the Puget Sound region are hosting celebrations – check out one of these local events to celebrate.

While the Emancipation Proclamation issued almost three years earlier by President Abraham Lincoln was to go into effect on January 1, 1863, its impact was widely delayed by the Civil War and Confederate strongholds throughout the south.

Juneteenth marks the day Union troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, and informed the last remaining enslaved people of their freedom. It is also known as Emancipation Day or Black Independence Day. Learn more

This day represents one of the many ways freedom has been delayed for Black people. It’s a day to celebrate as well as reflect on the racial injustices that continue to persist today. PSRC is seeking to address these injustices through our Regional Equity Strategy. Get involved.

In 2021, Washington became one of the six states to officially declare Juneteenth as a holiday. Texas has recognized the holiday since 1980.

While Juneteenth won’t become a paid state holiday in Washington until 2022, all state parks are free on June 19 this year.

Update 6/17:  President Biden signed a bill today recognizing Juneteenth as a federal holiday.