O Bee Credit Union will be closed Monday, June 19, in observance of Juneteenth.
What is Juneteenth?
Juneteenth (also known as Freedom Day, Juneteenth Independence Day, or Emancipation Day) is an annual commemoration of the official end of slavery in the United States after the Civil War.
Although President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, not every enslaved person was free immediately. Folks in Confederate-led states waited for freedom, including 250,000 Black Americans still enslaved in Texas. On June 19, 1885, following the surrender of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Appomattox, Virginia, Union troops arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas. They declared that the remaining enslaved people were free by Executive order. This day came to be known as "Juneteenth."
Early Juneteenth celebrations often included prayer, family gatherings, and even visits to Galveston. Today, parades, festivals, and community gatherings also commemorate the day. In 2021, Juneteenth became a federally recognized holiday.