The observance of Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the United States.
While President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation legally freed enslaved people on January 1, 1863, with the Civil War still raging, there were few Union troops available to enforce the executive order across the country. In Texas, and elsewhere, the practice of slavery continued.
Finally, following the surrender of the Confederate army in April 1865, Union soldiers landed at Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865. Major General Gordon Granger read General Order No. 3 with the news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free.
We celebrate Juneteenth as the date commemorating the end of slavery in the United States and as a reminder of our commitment to fighting racial injustice in our country.