Image courtesy of Google
June 20 (UPI) -- Monday's Google Doodle celebrates the national holiday of Juneteenth, which marks the official end of slavery in the United States on June 19, 1865.
"On this day in 1865, over 250,000 enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, received news of their freedom, marking the official end of the Civil War," Google said on its website.
"Although the Emancipation Proclamation was signed by President Abraham Lincoln in early 1863, many Black Americans were kept enslaved in the western-most Confederate states like Texas. General Granger, and his Union troops, marched to Texas and issued General Order No. 3, which announced the news of the Proclamation," the website added.
"Upon hearing the news, former slaves became free Americans by executive decree, and many migrated north in search of new lives and in hopes of reuniting their families torn apart by slavery."
Created by father-son artist duo Jerome and Jeromyah Jones, the artwork on Monday's Google homepage features several Black people in colorful, traditional African clothing.
Viewers who click on the image will see a burst of black, green and red confetti on the screen, the colors a tribute to the Pan-African flag.
Black and Brown arms and hands appear at the bottom of the screen, carrying a banner declaring, "Celebrate Freedom!" as well as a red and blue Juneteenth flag with a star in the middle and the Pan-African flag.
"Today, Juneteenth commemorates African American freedom and emphasizes education and achievement. It is a day, a week, and in some areas, a month marked with celebrations, guest speakers, picnics and family gatherings," the Juneteenth website said.
"It is a time for reflection and rejoicing. It is a time for assessment, self-improvement and for planning the future. Its growing popularity signifies a level of maturity and dignity in America long over due."
There is no U.S. mail delivery, and banks and the stock market are closed to mark the occasion.