On June 17, 2021, President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, making June 19 a national holiday. Juneteenth is not a new celebration; its roots go back more than a century to the end of the Civil War, when enslaved Americans in Texas learned that they were free. But Juneteenth is just one part of a story of how slavery came to an end in the United States.
The Atlantic Slave Trade had existed for nearly a century before slavery came to the North American colonies. In 1619 the practice in the United States began with a single Portuguese slave ship in 1619. It had been intercepted by the English privateer White Lion and sailed into Point Comfort (now the Fort Monroe National Monument), near the young settlement of Jamestown in the Virginia colony.