Juneteenth also referred to as Freedom Day or Emancipation day is a holiday celebrated in the United States on June 19th and is recognized by 41 of 50 states. Juneteenth, a combination of the words June and nineteenth, is the oldest known celebration that commemorates the end of U.S. slavery.

On June 19th 1865, Major General Gordon Granger, leader of the Union soldiers announced on Galveston’s Ashton Villa in Galveston, TX that the war had ended and enslaved Africans were now free. Granger read “General Order No. 3” that stated:

“The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.”

Although President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862 to be enacted on January 1, 1863, it had no impact in Texas due to limited enforcement of Executive Order. It wasn’t until the surrender of General Lee and the induction of General Granger’s regiment that there would be enough military forces available to defeat the resistance.

Though Juneteenth celebrations have been less visible than in the past, there is a Modern Juneteenth Movement that is seeking a resurgence of mass commemoration. The movement is also working to pass legislation to establish Juneteenth Independence Day as a National Day of Observance.

Posted By: @ZakiyaTheGenius