What is “Juneteenth”?

juneteenth-memorial-statuePart of the Juneteenth memorial at the George Washington Carver Museum, Austin Texas

Juneteenth is a holiday that commemorates the June 19, 1865 announcement in Texas of the abolition of slavery, and more generally that celebrates the emancipation of African-American slaves throughout the Confederate South.

During the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862, with an effective date of January 1, 1863. It declared all slaves to be freed in the Confederate States of America that were in rebellion and not in Union hands. It took almost three years for news about the Emancipation Proclamation to reach Galveston.


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