GREENSBORO, N.C. — As Juneteenth approaches, the nation is reminded by the day that stamps the celebration of the ending of slavery in the United States.
On June 19, 1865, Union troops led by Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, with news that the Civil War was over, and that all remaining slaves were free.
Lincoln announced the Emancipation Proclamation that declared their freedom in September 1862. The order was issued during the Civil War and effective January 1, 1863.
Upon Granger's arrival, according to Juneteenth.com, his first order of business was to read the General Order Number 3 to the people of Texas. It reads:
"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 rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired laborer."
Texas was the first state to make Juneteenth a holiday in 1980 and others have done the same over time. Furthermore, many states and cities have made Juneteenth a paid holiday including the city of Greensboro.
Juneteenth is celebrated by many across the nation with music, activities, food, and an opportunity to learn more about the event's history.