Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States.  Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free.

Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation-which had become official January 1, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on the Texans due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new Executive Order. However, with the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865, and the arrival of General Granger’s regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance.

Later attempts to explain this two and a half year delay in the receipt of this important news have yielded several versions that have been handed down through the years.

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One thought on “Juneteenth: Celebrating Freedom

  1. Your article on Juneteenth makes no mention of the National Juneteenth Holiday Campaign, the fact that Juneteenth is a state holiday or state holiday observance in 41 states, the District Columbia and recognized by the U.S. Congress by 8 annual resolutons. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) introduced legislation, S.J. Res. 45, on the “19th of June”, Juneteenth, 2012, to make Juneteenth Independence Day a National Day of Observance, like Flag Day and Patriot Day.

    Together we will see Juneteenth become a national holiday in America

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