Happy Juneteenth Day! (How is this different from 4th of July? Learn More)
The Emancipation Proclamation was an executive order issued by former United States President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1983, which changed the legal status of approximately 3.5 million enslaved African Americans from being a slave to now being a free citizen. However, the Proclamation did not apply to slaves residing in Union states. On June 19, 1985, over 2 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, union troops, led by Major General Gordan Granger, arrived to Galveston, Texas and announced that the war had ended and that all slaves were now free in the State of Texas, which was over 250,000 slaves, and slavery was over across the nation. Juneteenth is significant because this is the last day that a citizen was enslaved in the United States. In December 1985, the 13th Amendment was ratified which legally abolished slavery. Juneteenth is a state holiday in many states (not the State of Georgia) but not a federal holiday.