CertMag Observes the Juneteenth (U.S.) Holiday
Posted on
June 19, 2023
Wishing you the best on Juneteenth.

Today is Juneteenth here in the United States. It’s a federal holiday, so the Certification Magazine home office is closed until Tuesday. Juneteenth celebrates the declaration of freedom to enslaved people at the end of the American Civil War. In particular, it commemorates the formal announcement of freedom by U.S. Army officials to enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865.

We’ll return to our regular schedule of operations tomorrow. But we didn't want to just walk away and leave you with nothing. How much do you know about Juneteenth? Maybe our festive holiday quiz can help you learn a few things you didn't already know.

‍1) Who commanded the U.S. Army detachment that formally announced the end of slavery in Galveston in 1865?

‍2) When and where did the public reading of the General Order No. 3 to formally announce the Emancipation Proclamation occur?

‍3) What was Juneteenth called before it was called Juneteenth?

‍4) How many U.S. states officially observe Juneteenth?

‍5) Which was the first state to formally recognize Juneteenth as state holiday?

‍6) Who wrote the novel Juneteenth, published in 1999, which increased public awareness of Juneteenth?

‍7) Who created the Juneteenth flag?

‍8) Where was the Juneteenth flag first flown?

‍9) What popular FX series include a Juneteenth-themed episode in its first season in 2016?

‍10) Which 94-year-old Juneteenth activist was at President Joe Biden's side when he signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law on June 17, 2021?



Wishing you the best on Juneteenth.

‍1) Major General Gordon Granger. Later in life, Granger conducted peace talks with Cochise and the Chiricahuan tribe in New Mexico, paving the way for an eventual treaty signed by General Oliver O. Howard.

‍2) There is no historical evidence that a public reading actually occurred. Copies of order were posted in public places in Galveston.

‍3) Jubilee Day. Juneteenth began to replace Jubilee Day in the 1890s. What is officially called Juneteenth National Independence Day in the act passed by Congress (in 2021) is also informally known as Emancipation Day, Freedom Day, Black Independence Day, and (still) Jubilee Day.

‍4) All 50 states (and the District of Columbia) observe Juneteenth, with South Dakota becoming the last to formally recognize the holiday in February 2022.

‍5) Texas. Thanks to the efforts of Democratic State Representative Al Edwards, Texas made Juneteenth a state holiday in 1980, beating Uncle Sam to the punch by more than 40 years.

6) Author and essayist Ralph Ellison. The novel was published posthumously, four years after Elllison's death from pancreatic cancer in 1995.‍

7) Black activist Ben Haith created the flag, with a central, single white star inside a nova on a divided blue and red field, in 1997. In 2007, the date "June 19, 1865" was added to the flag.

8) Roxbury Heritage State Park in Massachusetts. Flag designer Ben Haith conducted the first Juneteenth flag raising ceremony.

9) Atlanta. The ninth episode of the first season of Atlanta, "Juneteenth," first aired on Oct. 25, 2016.

10) Opal Lee. Lee, nicknamed the "Grandmother of Juneteenth," organized special walks for decades to support the idea of making Juneteenth a federal holiday.


About the Author

Certification Magazine was launched in 1999 and remained in print until mid-2008. Publication was restarted on a quarterly basis in February 2014. Subscribe to CertMag here.

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