NEW YORK—Juneteenth, our newest federal holiday, has its roots in Galveston, Texas, dating back to 1865. On June 19, 1865, enslaved people in Galveston were informed of their freedom, which had been declared two years earlier when President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, PBS explains. However, enslavers in Galveston had kept this freedom a secret for two years. explains, “The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on Texans due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new Executive Order. However, with the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865, and the arrival of General Granger’s regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance.”

In 2021, President Biden signed legislation that made Juneteenth a federal holiday. Now, June 19 is celebrated as Juneteenth nationwide with parades, parties, commemoration events and community gatherings. And although it is a new federal holiday, Juneteenth is by no means new to the people who celebrate it—in fact, as PBS explains, “It is considered the longest-running holiday in African American and Black communities, and was often observed with community celebrations on the third Saturday in June.”

In fact, the first-ever Juneteenth celebrations were observed just one year after freedom was declared in Galveston, PBS reports.

This Juneteenth, President Biden said, “On Juneteenth, may we celebrate the essence of freedom that galvanized the country, the progress we have made in our Nation, and all that is possible when we march forward together. May we all recommit to redeeming the very soul of America—choosing love over hate, unity over division, and progress over retreat.”

As the significance and history of Juneteenth spread across the country, the optical industry is also embracing our newest federal holiday—the first to be established since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, according to the President. This weekend, we take a look at a few Juneteenth celebration posts from members of the optical community.

The National Optometric Association encouraged its social media followers to “honor the legacy of Juneteenth and continue the fight for equality and justice.” Image via nationaloptometricassociation on Instagram

Optometry Divas honored the Black women who “shattered glass ceilings in the field of optometry, paving the way for a more diverse and inclusive profession.” Image via optometrydivas on Instagram

The team at Huntley Eye Care in Huntley, Ill., shared some ways to celebrate Juneteenth. Image via huntleyeyecare on Instagram

The team at Eye Co. in Columbus, Ohio, shared some Juneteenth history and encouraged followers to reflect and recommit to equality and justice. Image via on Instagram

Metro Eye, in New York City, shared a quote from Coretta Scott King: “Struggle is a never-ending process. Freedom is never really won, you earn it and win it in every generation.” Image via metroeye on Instagram

The team at North Park Optometry in San Diego discussed the importance of Juneteenth. Image via northparkoptometry on Instagram

In Foxboro, Mass., Elliott Eye Doctors encouraged followers to “work toward a world where everyone has access to the same opportunities and resources.” Image via elliotteyedoctors on Instagram