The Custom House is the birthplace of the Juneteenth Holiday, historically known as Jubilee Day, Emancipation Day, Freedom Day, and Black Independence Day.
June 19th, referred to as Juneteenth, marks the day when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, in 1865 to take control of the state and free all enslaved people. The troops’ arrival came a full two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, the Presidential Executive Order freeing slaves in all rebelling states. Juneteenth honors the end to slavery in the United States and is considered the longest-running African American holiday. On June 17, 2021, it officially became a federal holiday.
The Custom House Juneteenth Museum will offer interactive exhibits leveraging augmented reality and other technologies, a learning center, community outreach, education, job creation of museum staff, and cultural and historical preservation. The museum will develop and facilitate activities principally to commemorate the Juneteenth Celebration. It will also develop and facilitate activities that celebrate global diversity and inclusion through the stories and historical significance of Juneteenth. Our collections leverage modern technology to enrich, engage, and inspire communities through insight, visualizations, and interaction.