AFP via Getty Images
AFP via Getty Images

Juneteenth, a blend of words June and nineteenth is also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Cel-Liberation Day or the Black Fourth of July. The holiday commemorates June 19, 1865. Texas was the most remote of the slave states, and the Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863, was not enforced here until after the Civil War had ended.  Major General Gordon Granger, two years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation Act,  read aloud General Order Number 3 in Galveston ordering all slaves to be freed in Texas.

The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.

This week multiple companies announced they will recognize Juneteenth as a paid holiday for their employees beginning this year.  To honor the holiday, which is Friday, some companies are giving employees a paid day off while others, like General Motors, are observing moments of silence.

As of today here is a running list of the companies that promised to recognize Juneteenth:


Allstate Insurance


Best Buy

“Starting next year, Juneteenth will become a formal, paid company holiday. We made the decision to begin this next year only because June 19 is just a few days away, and we wanted to give as much flexibility as possible to accommodate individual schedules.”

General Motors

“I really believe eight-plus minutes of solid reflection will benefit everyone,” General Motors President Mark Reuss wrote in the memo. “I’m sure many of you have felt the same glut of emotions I have while watching recent events unfold … disbelief, anger, shame, grief, and ultimately heartbreak. This is not who we are as humankind, nor as a country. We can and must be better than this.”


J.C. Penney

CEO Jill Soltau said this Friday would be a paid day off for J.C. Penney workers, adding that hourly associates working that day will receive holiday pay.

JP Morgan

Lending Tree



“June 19 marks Juneteenth, a holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the U.S. In support of Mastercard’s statement last week about What We Stand For, the day is a perfect opportunity for all of us around the world to pause and reflect,” a press release said.

National Football League

New York Times


In a company-wide memo, Nike CEO John Donahoe wrote that observing Juneteenth represents an “important opportunity to better commemorate and celebrate Black history and culture.” The company will now recognize Juneteenth as a paid holiday for U.S. employees.


Quicken Loans




“We recognize that the racial trauma the country is experiencing now is not new, but throughout recent weeks there has been a sense that this time is, and has to be, different,” Target Chairman and CEO Brian Cornell said in a press release. 


Social networking site Twitter and Square, the digital payment platform, have also made Juneteenth a company holiday, offering workers a paid day off.



Getty Images
Getty Images

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