Juneteenth is an American celebration that honors an often-overlooked date in US history: June 19, 1865. It was on this day, nearly three years after the Emancipation Proclamation and over three months after the surrender of Robert E. Lee, that the Union Army finally reached Galveston, Texas. When they arrived, they officially announced the emancipation of all 250,000 enslaved people in the state. On the first anniversary of the day, former slaves throughout Texas organized what became the first annual celebration of Juneteenth.
Since then, people across the United States commemorate African American freedom with celebration and reflection to acknowledge a period in our history that shaped and continues to influence society today. To date, 47 states recognize Juneteenth as a holiday. Washington State approved Juneteenth as a state holiday just this year. To learn more about Juneteenth check out this article.
While communities and organizations have made progress, we recognize we have a long way to go toward absolute equality as we reflect on Black culture and history today. Acknowledging this day and its history is part of this work and we’re committed to working towards a more equitable future. To honor Juneteenth, Salal will close branches and most operations at 2 p.m. PT on Friday, June 18. Branches will be open on Saturday, June 19 for their regularly scheduled hours.
At its heart, Juneteenth is a celebration. Use the day to volunteer for social justice causes, participate in peaceful activism, support local black-owned businesses, or educate yourself on race and race relations in the United States. Not quite ready to do in-person events? Join this virtual music celebration. Whatever you decide, we hope you will take a moment to celebrate and honor this important day of liberation.