celebrate JUNE 19

Union troops reached Galveston Bay, Texas on June 19, 1865, two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. Though enslaved people in Confederate States were declared legally free on January 1, 1863, states still under Confederate Control were not freed in actuality until months- even years- later. Juneteenth marks the day the army announced freedom for over 250,000 people still enslaved across Texas, and is celebrated today as “our country’s second independence day.” 

Celebrate locally

Library events

Celebrate Juneteenth with Red Drink!
Wednesday, June 19, All Day
Pick up a Hibiscus Tea Red Drink Kit for your own Juneteenth Celebration! Ingredients and educational resources to understand the history of this delicious drink are included.

TAP: the art project: Horace Pippin
Tuesday, June 18, 3 – 4 p.m.
Grades 3 – 5.  In honor of Juneteenth, we are celebrating Black excellence. Learn about artist Horace Pippin. After the lesson, we'll explore color and pattern as we create our own masterworks inspired by the artist.

Kid Inventors
Wednesday, June 19, 2 – 2:30 p.m.
Grades K – 2. In honor of Juneteenth, be inspired by Black innovators. Learn about some inventions and then create a hands-on engineering project with LEGO.

Local events

Juneteenth Celebration - Chicago
Find more information on this year’s Juneteenth Celebration in Chicago, along with follow up events with panels, a blood drive, and resource fair, with JuneteenthIllinois.

The 5th Annual Juneteenth Family Festival will take place on June 15, 2024.
If celebrating further away, the National Park Service has announced free entrance to all National Park Service sites to commemorate Juneteenth on June 19, 2024.

Celebrate with our collection


Celebrate online

President Biden seated at a desk with the United States seal, signing the Proclamation.  Black and African American leaders surround him in addition to Vice President Kamala Harris.

Juneteenth Proclamation

Read A Proclamation on Juneteenth Day of Observance, given by Joe Biden in 2021. 


Juneteenth: Faith & Freedom

Watch Juneteenth: Faith & Freedom on PBS, where a journey to Texas reveals the history and hope of the holiday.

PBS logo

Grandmother of Juneteenth

Hear the Grandmother of Juneteenth discuss what the day means in this video created by PBS in 2023.


Chef Ramin Coles and Joanne Hyppolite, National Museum of African American Heritage

Learn about the cultural significance of the color red by watching a video created by the National Museum of African American Heritage and Culture, where Sweet Home Executive Chef Ramin Coles and Curator Joanne Hyppolite teach you how to make a full menu for a Juneteenth Celebration (and don’t forget to grab a Juneteenth Red Drink kit at the library on June 19th)!


Smithsonian Collection: Desegregating Education

Celebrate the 70th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education by learning about the long road to desegregate education! Take a look at different artifacts available within the Smithsonian Collection, hear oral histories from those directly involved in the case, and delve into the history of the Little Rock Nine and the legacy of the 1954 decision. 

celebrate family


Family Reunions

Understand the incredible amount of work that went into searching for family members after Juneteenth, where those who had been separated or sold away began the search for their family, by reading through the Historical Legacy of Black Family Reunions. 


Freedmen's Bureau Search Portal

Use the Freedmen’s Bureau Search Portal to find your ancestors and other topics related to slavery and Reconstruction. The United States Bureau of Refugees, Freedman, and Abandoned Lands is commonly known as the Freedmen’s Bureau, and was created in 1865. The millions of records available include the names and information of hundreds of thousands of formerly enslaved African Americans, those who were freed before the Civil War, and hundreds of other figures during the Civil War and Reconstruction eras. 


Volunteer with the Smithsonian: NMAAHC Transcription Center Project

Volunteer to transcribe collection items at the Smithsonian through the current NMAAHC Transcription Center Project! Volunteers have transcribed a large range of documents, including word-for-word transcriptions of The Liberator, Questlove’s music notes, and the personal writings of James Baldwin. 

For more information or questions email ATS@dglibrary.org.