NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Today is Juneteenth the day our nation commemorates the de facto end of slavery in the United States.
It was on this day in 1865 when Union soldiers told enslaved African Americans in Galveston, Texas, that the Civil War had ended and they were free. The war had actually ended in April, but that information wasn’t readily disseminated to African Americans.READ MORE: ERCOT Says Power Should Stay On In Texas Throughout The Summer
Although President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation two years earlier, on January 1, 1863, it declared that “all persons held as slaves” within the rebellious states “are, and henceforward shall be free,” it only applied to states that had seceded and left slavery intact in border states like Texas and Southern states under Northern control.READ MORE: Dallas Hospital Sets Up Special Rooms To Help Teens Dealing With Mental Health Issues
When Major General Gordon Granger and his troops arrived in Galveston with the news there were approximately 250,000 people still being held in slavery.
Granger delivered General Order No. 3, which said: “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.”MORE NEWS: Texas Linebacker Jake Ehlinger, Younger Brother Of Former Longhorns QB Sam Ehlinger, Found Dead Off Campus, Austin Police Say
The next year, the now-freed slaves in Galveston started celebrating Juneteenth.