“Juneteenth” comes from the words “June” and “19th”, which according to southern folklore, is when the slaves of Texas first learned of their freedom. Though freed in 1863, the slaves did not learn of their freedom until the arrival of the Union soldiers on June 19th, 1865, 2 1/2 years after the proclamation was first issued.
For more information : Juneteenth: June 19th – A Day of Thanks and the Celebration of Emancipation
photo credit: via flickr
Update: White House releases Statement from President Obama on the Occasion of Juneteenth