Why We Celebrate JuneteenthJune 14, 2023
Juneteenth – June 19 - celebrates the end of slavery in our country, but this important holiday was unknown to many for several years.
During the 2022 legislative session, many House Democrats spoke passionately on the House floor about why Connecticut needed to make Juneteenth a legal state holiday. The bill (PA 22-128) received bipartisan support and was signed into law by Governor Lamont, and this is the first year it will be officially observed as a state holiday.
Contrary to popular belief, the practice of slavery did not immediately end after the conclusion of the Civil War. Some communities were not informed of the Union's victory until months after the fact.
On June 19, 1865, two months after the Civil War ended, a group of Union soldiers traveled to Galveston, Texas and announced that all enslaved individuals were now free. They were among the last group of Americans to be notified of their freedom.
Thanks to the tireless work of advocates and legislators here and across the nation, Juneteenth is now rightfully recognized throughout the country.
Although Juneteenth is a celebration, we must also take time to reflect on the horrors of slavery and how it impacts us to this day. With that in mind, House Democrats will continue to push for legislation that promotes equity and inclusivity.