Juneteenth Emancipation Day Celebration, June 19, 1900, Texas. (Austin History Center, Austin Public Library.)

Dating back to 1865, Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. Though the Emancipation Proclamation, signed by President Lincoln in 1863, technically ended slavery, the minimal number of Union soldiers stationed in Texas and the slow pace of news meant that slaves in Texas were unaware that the executive order had been issued and little could be done to implement the order. However, with General Robert E. Lee’s surrender at the Battle of Appomattox Courthouse, substantial numbers of Union troops finally arrived in Texas. On June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger announced to the public that all slaves had been freed. 

Yesterday, Governor…

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