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Juneteenth – Freedom Day

Date: June 19, 2024

On June 19th, we commemorate Juneteenth, also known as Emancipation Day or Freedom Day. The Emancipation Proclamation signed in 1863 declared "that all persons held as slaves" within the rebellious states "are, and henceforward shall be free."  Although the Emancipation Proclamation was signed almost two and a half years prior, it was not until this day in 1865 that the remaining 250,000 enslaved individuals in Texas were finally set free. On this day, Union Army Major General Gordon Granger rode into Galveston, Texas, and issued General Order No. 3, proclaiming that the remaining enslaved African Americans in Texas were free. Black women and men, newly emancipated, transformed this day into a celebration, establishing Juneteenth. 


What began as an informal celebration of freedom by locals in Galveston eventually grew into a broader commemoration of the end of slavery as African Americans in Texas moved to other parts of the country.


In a significant step towards acknowledging the historical importance of Juneteenth, in 2021, President Biden signed legislation to make it a Federal Holiday. This recognition aims to foster a sense of hope and unity in the community through education, celebration, and remembrance. 




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