June 19th is Juneteenth, a day that commemorates the end of slavery. Why this day? On June 19, 1865 Union soldiers arrived in Texas and spread the word that President Lincoln had delivered his Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863…two YEARS earlier. Back in those days, it took news A LOT longer to travel! Plus, in this case, there were people who deliberately kept the news from traveling. Here is the timeline:
1. January 1, 1863 The Emancipation Proclamation was an executive order made by Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War. It declared slaves in the Confederacy free. It affected some slaves, but not all of them.
2. June 19, 1865 Freedom Day in Texas – Texas was very remote back then and news traveled slow. It also took a long time for the Union army to makes its way to Texas. On June 19, a Union General read out loud “General Order No. 3”, announcing the total emancipation of slaves in Texas. The day became known as “Juneteenth” (“June” plus “nineteenth”) and is widely celebrated today in Texas and across the country, as an important day commemorating the freeing of slaves in America.
3. December 6, 1865 The Thirteenth Amendment This amendment to the Constitution completely abolished slavery and involuntary servitude except as the punishment of a crime.
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