On June 19,1865, Union soldiers lead by General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and the enslaved were now free. This day marks the abolition of slavery in Texas.
The news came two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation to free slaves throughout the nation. The country was in the middle of the American Civil War, and the states that broke away from the Union did not accept the executive order. Sadly, those slaves were not freed.
Slavery still existed in Texas until General Gordon Granger showed up with his troops to take control of the state and make sure all enslaved African American people were freed.
General Order, No. 3: “The People of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the executive of the United States, all slaves are free.” After hearing the good news, formal slaves immediately started celebrating- dancing, singing, praying and feasting.
This day is now recognized as a federal holiday, and is also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, and Emancipation Day for African Americans. Juneteenth was born and is now celebrated across America. A portmanteau of June and nineteenth (Juneteenth), is a day that will never be forgotten!