The Importance of June 19, 1865

Juneteenth, or June 19, is a day honoring the emancipation of enslaved African-Americans.  It is recognized as a federal holiday as of June 2021.

The U.S. Major General, Gordon Granger, publicly read the General Order Number 3 on June 19, 1865 in Galveston, Texas. Declaring the end of the Civil War. This order entails equality of personal rights and property rights between former owners and slaves. Granger’s declaration occurred two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which officially declared the end of slavery in states in rebellion during the Civil War.

This was received with jubilation from the formerly enslaved people but with retaliation from slave owners. Resulting in a migration of the formally enslaved in hope of finding family members that were sold to different states.

Picnics, rodeos, barbecues, parades, and readings of the Emancipation Proclamation and the work of African-American authors, like Ralph Ellison, whose published second novel is titled Juneteenth, are all part of today’s Juneteenth celebrations.

Today, Juneteenth is celebrated much in the same way as in 1865.

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