Google Calendar Makes Juneteenth an Official Holiday

Dylan Buell/Getty Images for VIBE
Dylan Buell/Getty Images for VIBE / Dylan Buell/Getty Images for VIBE

Juneteenth has been celebrated by Black Americans since the 19th century, but many companies, governments, and other establishments still ignore the holiday. With recent protests shining a spotlight on racial injustice in America, that's starting to change. As Taylor Lyles reports for The Verge, Google Calendar is the one of the latest major brands to recognize the occasion.

Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865—the day when a group of enslaved people was freed in Galveston, Texas. Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, but it took 30 months for the news to reach this part of the country. (Theories as to why vary—some think Texans suppressed the announcement and others say the new law was just impossible to enforce before the Civil War ended.)

Despite being the oldest known celebration of the end of slavery, Juneteenth was missing from Google Calendar until recently. The company rectified that by quietly making the June 19 event an official Google Calendar holiday earlier this month. Google also plans to recognize Juneteenth internally by canceling all meetings for the day. Other tech companies such as Twitter and Spotify have declared June 19 a permanent company holiday.

Texas became the first state to make Juneteenth an official state holiday in 1980. Other states have since followed suit, but the holiday still lacks federal recognition.

[h/t The Verge]