Juneteenth, also known as Juneteenth “Independence Day” or “Freedom Day,” is an annual holiday to commemorate the day Union troops enforced the abolition of slavery and the liberation of all enslaved African Americans who remained in bondage in Texas until June 19,1865—over two years after the emanicpiation proclaimation was issued and instated in America.
On September 22, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation effectively ending slavery on January 1, 1863. However, the Proclamation had little effect in the State of Texas until two and half years later. It was on June 19, 1865, that Union General Gordon Granger read General Orders No. 3 to the people of Galveston, Texas:
“The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaved 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.”