Its literal historical roots are in Texas, but Juneteenth is gaining popularity across the country as an occasion to celebrate one of the most important events in American history-
January 1, 1863
President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring that all enslaved people in the rebellious states were free. It was really military strategy-
June 19, 1865
Over two years later, on June 19, 1865, General Gordon Granger landed in Galveston, Texas, leading federal occupation forces some three months after the official end of the Civil War. He immediately proclaimed Texas to be under U.S. authority and re-
June 19th Celebrated as "Juneteenth"
Celebration of June 19 as "Juneteenth" or " Emancipation Day" quickly spread through parts of the southwest, including Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas. To the freed people Juneteenth had much greater significance than the Fourth of July and was celebrated with community picnics featuring the reading of the Emancipation Proclamation, feasting, choir singing, prayers, and speeches. Although the popularity of Juneteenth declined in the 1940's, the traditional celebration has been "re-