Monday is Juneteenth: Here’s what you need to know
Posted by Associated Press on 19th June 2017
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This post was originally published on WBALTV NEWS

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Every year on June 19, African Americans across the country gather to celebrate the end of slavery in the United States.

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It was on June 19, 1865 that Union General Gordon Granger traveled to Galveston, Texas to force the state to free its slaves, over two years after President Abraham Lincoln’s issued his Emancipation Proclamation. The executive order, signed on Jan. 1, 1863, freed all slaves in the southern United States.

According to Juneteenth.com, Texas was one of the last states to follow the order due to a low number of Union troops in the area to enforce it.

Gen. Granger read the famed General Order Number 3 which stated, “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.”

As freed slaves began to leave Texas, they took their celebrations of the day to other regions of the south. Cookouts, dancing and prayer services are just some of the celebrations taking place Monday.

Some have even pushed for Juneteenth to be recognized as a national holiday. In 1980, Texas became the first state to officially recognize the day as a holiday, calling it “Emancipation Day.”

President Donald Trump released a statement honoring the celebrations saying, “Melania and I send our warmest greetings to all those celebrating Juneteenth, a historic day recognizing the end of slavery…On Juneteenth 2017, we honor the countless contributions made by African Americans to our Nation and pledge to support America’s promise as the land of the free.”