Juneteenth facts for kids

Juneteenth Facts for Kids

Juneteenth is a very important day in American history.  Juneteenth is also known as Emancipation Day, Freedom Day, or Jubilee Day.  Imagine a special day filled with joy, music, and laughter, where people of all ages come together to celebrate something incredible. Learn more about this office holiday with these Juneteenth Facts for Kids.

Juneteenth is a very important day in American history. Juneteenth marks the day when the remaining slaves in the United States were freed, reminding us of the power of freedom and equality.

In this article, we will journey through the story of Juneteenth, exploring its significance and why it is a cause for celebration. So, grab your curiosity, and let’s embark on a fascinating adventure into the history of Juneteenth, designed especially for young minds like yours!

Check out these Juneteenth Facts for Kids to find out everything you need to know about this important day in American history!

What is Juneteenth?

Juneteenth is a special day that celebrates freedom. It’s an important holiday in the United States.

Juneteenth is a day to remember and honor the freedom of African Americans. The U.S. holiday of Juneteenth celebrates the anniversary of June 19, 1865, when Texas was forced to release its remaining slaves.

Juneteenth is also called Emancipation Day, Freedom Day, or Jubilee Day. The word Juneteenth is a combination of June and 19th.

People celebrate it during Black History Month and on Juneteenth.

A long time ago, there were people called slaves who didn’t have freedom. A slave was someone who wasn’t free to live how they wanted; they were treated unfairly and were forced to work without getting paid. It was very sad and not right.

But then, something changed. During the Civil War, on January 1st, 1863, Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation abolishing slavery. 

Texas would not accept the Emancipation Proclamation and kept their slaves. The slaves didn’t even get the news that they were free.

After the Emancipation Proclamation, Texas still held more than 200,000 African Americans in slavery.

Map of Texas showing Galveston TX

What Happened on June 19, 1865?

On June 19, 1865, General Gordon Granger and Union army soldiers entered Galveston, Texas, forcing them to free their slaves.  All of the remaining slaves received the news that they were free.

Who Celebrates Juneteenth?

Texas was the first state to declare Juneteenth a holiday on January 1, 1980. Galveston, Texas, has many local Juneteenth celebrations. Many Juneteenth celebrations take place in Texas, including parades, picnics, and festivals.

Other states started following Texas and declared Juneteenth a holiday.

The following states now celebrate Juneteenth:  Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming and also Washington D.C.

People celebrate Juneteenth in many different ways, including hosting BBQs, reading poems, singing songs, and participating in various activities. Check out how your state celebrates this special day.

On June 17, 2020, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order declaring that Juneteenth is recognized as a holiday for state employees.  He signed to make Juneteenth an official state holiday for 2021.

The U.S. Government declared Juneteenth an official federal holiday on June 17th, 2021. The other federal holidays include New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Washington’s birthday (President’s Day), Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day  

Juneteenth facts for kids

Juneteenth Flag

The Juneteenth flag is blue and white with a white star in the middle; surrounding the star is an outline of a bursting star. It is a symbol of the ending of slavery in the United States. The idea of the flag came from activist Benn Haith. In 1997, Lisa Graf created the Juneteenth flag. In the year 2000, the Juneteenth flag was revised, and the date June 19th, 1865, was added.

Emancipation Park

Emancipation Park is the oldest park in Texas. In 1872, four former slaves, Elias Dibble, Richard Allen, Richard Brock, and Jack Yates, purchased 10 acres of the park for $800. At one time, it was the only park that African Americans were allowed to visit.

They didn’t have the funding to keep it open year-round. Emancipation Park was only used for Juneteenth Celebrations. The park still remains today and is open year-round to the public.


Juneteenth is a special day that marks the end of slavery in the United States. Juneteenth reminds us of the struggles and hardships faced by African Americans and the importance of treating everyone with respect and fairness.

It is a day to celebrate the resilience and strength of those who fought for freedom and equality. So, let’s join in the celebration of Juneteenth, learn more about African American history, and continue to promote equality and kindness for all people.

Juneteenth Worksheet

click the link below to print your free Juneteenth worksheet

Free printable Juneteenth worksheet
Free Printable Juneteenth Worksheet