Juneteenth marks the celebration of the end of slavery. Our Country is just one step closer to making Juneteenth a federal holiday. On 1st January 1863, President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation freed the slaves of the Confederate state.
The word didn't travel as fast in the 1860s as it does today. It took two and half years for the President's proclamation to reach Texas. Historians claim many slave owners intentionally withheld the news to keep the labor intact.
All of this changed when Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas.
On 19th June 1865, the slaves were free. The first Juneteenth was celebrated in Austin in 1867. Texas became the first state to declare 19th June as a holiday more than a century later, in 1980.
Juneteenth in the US has been a historic day for decades and celebrated with barbecues, rodeos, baseball games, and church ceremonies.