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Is DMV Open on Juneteenth? What is Juneteenth?

Find out if DMV offices are open on Juneteenth, and know about DMV operations and closures on this federal holiday in the United States.

by Aishwarya

Updated Jun 18, 2024

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Is DMV Open on Juneteenth? What is Juneteenth?

Is DMV Open on Juneteenth?

No, DMVs nationwide will be closed on Wednesday, June 19 to observe Juneteenth. Juneteenth is a federal holiday in the US, so the operations of DMV do not happen that day, like some other major holidays, their services are closed.

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About DMV

A Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is a government agency that handles vehicle registration and driver licensing. In countries like the United States, these agencies are run by state governments, while in countries like those in Europe, they are managed by the national government. Depending on where you are, the DMV might also be called the "division of motor vehicles," "driver and motor vehicle services," "registry of motor vehicles," or "bureau of motor vehicles."

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What is Juneteenth?

Juneteenth is a federal holiday in the United States celebrated on June 19th each year. It marks the end of slavery in the country, specifically when enslaved people in Texas learned of their freedom on June 19, 1865. This followed Major General Gordon Granger's enforcement of the Emancipation Proclamation after the Civil War.

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Early celebrations began in 1866 in Texas and spread across the South among African American communities. Juneteenth became a federal holiday in 2021, honoring African American freedom and culture. It's also observed by Mascogos, descendants of Black Seminoles who escaped slavery and settled in Mexico in 1852.

Juneteenth History

On September 22, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln announced the Emancipation Proclamation would start on January 1, 1863, freeing enslaved people in Confederate states like Texas. Union troops were key to enforcing it, but Texas, farther from Union control, saw slow enforcement.

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On June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger finally enforced the Proclamation in Texas, 900 days after it began, 71 days after Robert E. Lee surrendered, and 24 days after Confederate forces in Texas disbanded. This day became known as Juneteenth, celebrating the end of slavery in the United States.

How does the US Celebrate Juneteenth?

In the United States, Juneteenth, celebrated on June 19th, honors the end of slavery and is often called "America's second Independence Day." Early celebrations featured activities like baseball, fishing, and rodeos held at churches or by water, due to segregation. Families gathered for big meals and wore their finest clothes.

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Now, Juneteenth is marked with local events including picnics, music festivals, and historical reenactments. It's a multicultural holiday with readings of the Emancipation Proclamation, traditional songs, and recognition of African-American writers. Red foods symbolize resilience and joy, like red velvet cake and strawberry soda. Celebrations also focus on teaching African-American heritage and promoting community pride and awareness.



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