On June 19 ("Juneteenth"), 1865, Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston and issued General Order Number 3, which read, "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." 
 

Representative Al Edwards authored H.B. 1016, 66th R.S. (1979), declaring June 19th, Emancipation Day, an official Texas holiday. There has also been legislation both in other states and at the Federal level concerning Juneteenth. In 2016, a monument dedicated to African Americans in Texas was unveiled on the Texas Capitol grounds (cover image).The Juneteenth historical marker (right) was installed in Galveston on June 21, 2014.    

 

Learn more about Juneteenth and the holiday's Texas origins in the Handbook of Texas Online.