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Everything You Need To Know About Juneteenth

Juneteenth Parade in Arizona

Juneteenth. The very word evokes a mix of emotions: triumph, resilience, community, and celebration. It’s a day etched in the American calendar, not just as a federal holiday, but as a powerful testament to the ongoing fight for equality and justice.


Juneteenth is a holiday that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. It is celebrated on June 19th.

Juneteenth Celebration
Photo/ Austin History Center, Austin Public Library

History of Juneteenth

On June 19, 1865 General Gordon Granger and federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas and took control of the state to free the last remaining enslaved people in America. Granger stood before the people and read the General Orders 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. 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.”General Orders, Number 3; Headquarters District of Texas, Galveston, June 19, 1865

This action freed 250,000 enslaved people.

This event occurred two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation. The Emancipation Proclamation issued by former U.S. President Lincoln on January 1, 1863  established that all enslaved people in Confederate states in rebellion against the Union were free. 

Check out: The Final Moments Leading to Juneteenth National Independence Day


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