Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.  It was on June 19, 1865 that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation—which was delivered on January 1, 1863. 

Today, Juneteenth commemorates African American freedom and emphasizes education and achievement.  It is a time for reflection and rejoicing. It is a time for assessment, self-improvement and for planning the future. 

In cities across the country, people of all races, nationalities and religions are joining hands to truthfully acknowledge a period in our history that shaped and continues to influence our society today. Sensitized to the conditions and experiences of others, only then can we make significant and lasting improvements in our society.

—National Registry


What is Juneteenth?

Juneteenth Independence Holiday: Here's What You Need to Know

Why Celebrating Juneteenth is More Important Now Than Ever

The Sisters of Mercy have shared this prayer service written by Sister Katie Mindling, Mercy Education System of the Americas interpreter and translator.




The Philadelphia Juneteenth Festival: Saturday, June 20, Noon - 5:00 P.M.

The Johnson House Historic Site

Join Johnson House Historic Site to celebrate this year’s VIRTUAL Philadelphia Juneteenth Festival, Saturday, June 20th from 12 Noon – 5:00 pm.  Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated day to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States. 2020 represents the 401st anniversary (1619) when enslaved Africans arrived in Point Comfort, Virginia aboard a Dutch ship.  They were the first Africans on record to be forcibly settled as involuntary laborers in the North American British Colonies.  Over 250 years ago, the founding fathers made a promise that all people had a fundamental right to life and liberty. Today, that promise has yet to be fully actualized.

The virtual festival (free to the public) starts at 12 noon on Zoom and Facebook, broadcasting from the Johnson House at 6300 Germantown Avenue. Throughout the day, participants can learn about the Johnson House, its family, and their role in the abolitionist movement and the Underground Railroad. Viewers can watch panel discussions, dramatic presentations, listen to music, take a virtual tour of the Johnson House, and more. The panel discussion will highlight New York Times Reporter and Pulitzer Prize winner, Nicole Hannah-Jones, and her work, The 1619 Project.  There will also be a discussion of the gifts that African people brought to the Americas.

To attend the virtual event, use the Zoom link below.


Meeting ID: 949 9085 6670

Password: 259804


Juneteenth 2020 Virtual Festival: Saturday, June 20, 11:00 A.M. - 3:00 P.M.

African American Museum in Philadelphia

Join us in celebration and reflection at our Juneteenth 2020 Virtual Festival! 2020 marks Pennsylvania’s first “official” statewide observance of Juneteenth, the African American holiday which originated in 1865 when the news of emancipation finally reached Galveston, Texas. This Juneteenth we will Celebrate the Diaspora by showcasing performances, fun activities, and public dialogues for all ages that highlight current and historic Diasporic connections across the globe. Artists, scholars and activists will discuss the 15th and 19th Amendments and the evolution of the Black Vote, Immigrant Heritage Month, and the immense contributions members of the African Diaspora make to the Philadelphia and worldwide cultural landscape.

Juneteenth 2020 Virtual Festival: Celebrate the Diaspora is presented by the African American Museum in Philadelphia in close partnership with WURD, African Cultural Alliance of North America (ACANA), Coalition of African and Caribbean Communities- Philadelphia (AFRICOM), Office of Immigrant Affairs- City of Philadelphia, and Pennsylvania Juneteenth Coalition (PAJC).


An independent, Catholic, all-girls college preparatory high school for grades 9-12
Merion Mercy Academy
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