Americans of all ethnicities and creeds gathered all over the nation together on Wednesday, June 19, 2024, to celebrate the newest official holiday in the United States.

For those who don't know, Juneteenth became an official federal holiday on June 17, 2021, after President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law. That made Juneteenth the first new holiday enacted in the United States since Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day became a federal holiday in 1983.

While Juneteenth is a federal holiday, it's not officially observed throughout the nation equally. Twenty-three states do not recognize it as a holiday, while the remaining 27 states and the District of Columbia do.

What Is Juneteenth?

According to the Juneteenth Festival of Buffalo website, Juneteenth is the oldest known observance of ending slavery in the United States. According to historical records, the celebration began on June 19, 1865, the day Major General Gordon Granger of the Union Army rode into Galveston, Texas, in the final execution of the Emancipation Proclamation.

READ MORE: What Is Juneteenth and Why You Should Celebrate It

The word Juneteenth itself is a portmanteau, or combination, of the words June and nineteenth, which is the day it is typically celebrated.

You Don't Have To Wait For June 19th To Celebrate The Spirit of Juneteenth.

While Juneteenth is officially observed on June 19th every year, just because that day has come and gone does not mean you have to let the energy of freedom end. There are several ways you can celebrate Juneteenth all year long; here are a few suggestions:

6 Ways For You To Celebrate Juneteenth All Year Long

Even though America's newest holiday is over, that doesn't mean you can't keep that Juneteenth energy going for the rest of the year. 

Gallery Credit: Ed Nice

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Celebrating Juneteenth should be considered a quintessential example of America's greatness. It acknowledges the nation's flawed history and past but proves that we can work towards a more perfect union every day.

Buffalo's 48th Juneteenth Celebration, Parade, and Festival

Western New York celebrates its 48th Annual Juneteenth Parade and Festival on June 17, 2023, in Buffalo's MLK Park Neighborhood. The Grand Parade starts on Genesee Avenue and travels one mile before turning into the historic MLK Park where the festival takes place. Juneteenth celebrates the end of slavery after the end of the US Civil War.

Gallery Credit: Ed Nice

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