In 1865, June 19th was dedicated to the celebration of the freedom of enslaved individuals in America. This holiday is called Juneteenth or Freedom Day and has been celebrated with food, sports, and music. In June 2021, after a long fight, Juneteenth has become a federally recognized holiday at the federal level.
To learn more about the fight for Juneteenth to become a national Holiday, you can use our resource Gale In Context: Biography which profiles civil rights heroes and freedom fighters like Opal Lee. As an educator, Lee felt that Juneteenth was an important holiday that should be celebrated by the whole nation. She decided to walk to Washington D.C. in protest and to recognize the 2 1/2 years that slaves did not know they were free after the Emancipation Proclamation. Opal Lee is considered the grandmother of Juneteenth and you can find interesting facts, histories and about her fight for Juneteenth and other important historical figures using our online resources.
“Opal Lee.” Newsmakers Online, Gale, 2020. Gale In Context: Biography, https://login.e.sccl.org/login?url=https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/K1618007130/GPS?u=santacc_main&sid=GPS&xid=e3b8bfd4. Accessed 12 Mar. 2021.