Juneteenth: The 156-year-old holiday’s history explained

How the celebrations evolved and spread

In 1866, freed slaves in Texas marked June 19 with anniversary celebrations that included prayer services and church gatherings in the Black community. 

Over subsequent years, former slaves and their families continued celebrating their freedom with annual Juneteenth celebrations that also featured former slaves delivering inspirational speeches and reading from the Emancipation Proclamation. It marked a day for “grass-roots celebration highlighted by joyous singing, pig roasts, and rodeos,” according to Smithsonian Magazine.

In a 2007 essay titled “Juneteenth: Emancipation and Memory,” historian Elizabeth Hayes Turner wrote about former slaves and their descendants who continued celebrating the Juneteenth holiday for generations after 1865.

One descendant of slaves recounted in that essay how Juneteenth celebrations sometimes included homemade pyrotechnics: ”‘My daddy told me that they whooped and hollered and bored holes in trees with augers and stopped it up with [gun] powder and light and that would be their blast for the celebration.’”

In 1872, a group of former Texas slaves collected more than $800 to buy 10 acres of open land, near what is now Houston, to use for annual Juneteenth celebrations. They named the parcel Emancipation Park, and it remains the oldest public park in the state.

As newly-freed Texas slaves began resettling across the country, as part of The Great Migration of former slaves, the tradition of Juneteenth celebrations also spread to new locales across the South and the rest of the U.S. over the next century.

However, especially during the post-Civil War Reconstruction and Jim Crow eras, former Confederate states had little inclination to recognize Juneteenth, according to Smithsonian Magazine. As such, the “grass-roots” aspect of Juneteenth celebrations was often the norm well into the 20th Century, which contributed to the Juneteenth holiday regularly going unnoticed by Americans outside of the Black community. It is still rarely mentioned in school curricula. As a result, “this monumental event remains largely unknown to most Americans,” the National Museum of African American History & Culture notes.

Juneteenth remained a major celebration for the Black community in Texas, however. In 1938, Texas designated a day of observance for Juneteenth celebrations, called Emancipation Day, two years after up to 200,000 people turned out for Juneteenth celebrations in Dallas.

Still, Juneteenth did not become an official state holiday in Texas until 1980 and the state’s government offices do not close for the holiday.

From his success on the sales floor of an automotive dealership  to becoming a veteran trainer and then the adoption of technology for Internet-based marketing, his career has evolved to deliver the skills and tools needed to help consumers. Richie Bello combined his automotive expertise with his robust desire to “take care of the customer first” to become an automotive influencer, published author, and renowned trainer.  Bello absorbed the wants and needs of consumers as he worked up the ladder of the automotive industry.

Over the thirty-five years of his career, he developed strong Internet marketing skills, leading him to developing software solutions that create ease for consumers, and helps dealers improve relationships with customers. Innovation drives success. And, for Bello, it’s in his DNA. took years to come to consumers and arrived in a timely manner, during the 2020 Pandemic. With over 6 million vehicles on the site, features that help consumers deliver, finance and warranty, Bello has met the retail digital age head on.

Bello also is founder of Richie Bello Institute of Leadership and Management, a 501C3 not for profit, dedicated to the recruitment, education and employment of veterans into the automotive industry. Visit


Join Just

Entrepreneur Training
Public group · 229 members
Join Group
Last year the Richie Bello sales training agency gained a ton of positive reviews and exposure for being a world class sales training agency, and now ...

Video of the day

Richie Bello West

Have any question ? Now you can direct contact me