Jun 16, 2022 - Politics & Policy

More Americans familiar with Juneteenth since it became federal holiday, poll finds

Illustration of the Juneteenth and American flags in a stand.  
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Americans now are more familiar with Juneteenth than they were a year ago, when President Biden signed into law a bill to make it a federal holiday, according to a new Gallup poll.

The big picture: Approximately six in 10 Americans say they know "a lot"or "some" about Juneteenth, compared to less than four in 10 in May 2021.

Don't forget: Juneteenth takes place on June 19 and commemorates the date in 1865 when slaves in Texas found out about their freedom after Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's surrender in the Civil War.

  • Texas was the last Confederate state with institutional slavery.

By the numbers: 17% say they know "a lot" about Juneteenth, 42% say they know "some," 29% "a little bit" and 11% say they know "nothing at all."

  • In comparison, in May 2021, 12% said they know "a lot," 25% said "some," 34% "a little bit" and 28% said they knew "nothing at all."
  • Support and opposition for Juneteenth as a federal holiday have increased over the past year, with 45% of people saying that it should be a federal holiday in 2022 compared to 35% in 2021. On the other hand, 30% now say it should not, compared to the 25% who said it should not in 2021.
  • 63% of Americans say Juneteenth should be taught in public schools, and 15% say it should not.

Details: The Gallup poll was conducted between April 24 and May 17, and this year marks the second time that it has measured Americans' familiarity with the holiday.

What they're saying: "As the nation prepares to celebrate the second Juneteenth federal holiday, more Americans have become familiar with its significance in U.S. and Black history," Gallup said.

  • "Juneteenth is still not greatly understood, if at all, by a sizable minority of the population, but given the relative newness of the holiday's federal status, this could change."
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