60% Of Americans Want To See Juneteenth Become A National Holiday

Few say they learned anything about the holiday growing up, a new HuffPost/YouGov poll finds.

Most Americans support making Juneteenth a national holiday, a new HuffPost/YouGov survey finds.

Juneteenth, which is celebrated on June 19, commemorates the end of slavery in the U.S. It marks the day in 1865 when the Union Army announced in Texas that “all slaves are free.” Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) introduced legislation this week that would make it a federally recognized holiday; it’d be the first to be created since 1983, when Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday was given that designation.

“I cannot imagine this nation healing from the enormous and penetrating impact of race, racism and the history of slavery without officially acknowledging a day in the nation’s history that really speaks to freedom and independence for those who carried the burden of slavery,” Jackson Lee told HuffPost.

An artist painting part of the new Black Lives Matter street mural in front of the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Mus
An artist painting part of the new Black Lives Matter street mural in front of the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, this week. The project was meant to be completed before the city's Juneteenth celebrations on Friday.

Sixty percent of the public supports recognizing Juneteenth with a national holiday, and just 20% is opposed. Thirty-seven percent of all Americans strongly support the proposal. Among Black Americans, the figure rises to 62%. (How the question is framed appears to matter to some extent. Another YouGov poll, in which respondents were asked whether or not the day should be a federal holiday, found a smaller plurality in support.)

The idea has favor among most demographic groups, although the levels of support vary. Black Americans support it by a 64-point margin, the HuffPost/YouGov poll finds, with white Americans backing it by a 30-point margin, Democrats by a 69-point margin and Republicans by a 10-point margin.

Within the GOP, there’s a significant age divide: Republicans under age 45 support the idea by a 37-point margin, while those 45 and older are 10 points likelier to oppose it than they are to support it.

Although Juneteenth has been celebrated in many Black communities for more than a century, it has often been overlooked in school curriculums. Two-thirds of Americans say they’d previously heard of Juneteenth, while one-third were unaware of the holiday. Most who were aware of it said they’d learned about it as adults ― just 21% said they’d first heard of it as a child, while 71% heard of it at a later time.

Use the widget below to further explore the results of the HuffPost/YouGov survey, using the menu at the top to select survey questions and the buttons at the bottom to filter the data by subgroups.

The HuffPost/YouGov poll consisted of 1,000 completed interviews conducted June 15-17 among U.S. adults, using a sample selected from YouGov’s opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population.

HuffPost has teamed up with YouGov to conduct daily opinion polls. You can learn more about this project and take part in YouGov’s nationally representative opinion polling. More details on the polls’ methodology are available here.

Most surveys report a margin of error that represents some but not all potential survey errors. YouGov’s reports include a model-based margin of error, which rests on a specific set of statistical assumptions about the selected sample rather than the standard methodology for random probability sampling. If these assumptions are wrong, the model-based margin of error may also be inaccurate.