Saturday is Juneteenth. What is Juneteenth you asked? It’s a holiday commemorating the end of slavery.
Abraham Lincoln singed the Emancipation Proclamation on Sept. 22, 1862, and it took effect on Jan. 1, 1863. But Lincoln’s executive order was not immediately effective at ending slavery. In fact, by June 1865, most slaves in Texas had not heard of the Emancipation Proclamation.
On June 18, 1865, General Gordon Granger and a force of 2,000 Union solidiers marched into Galveston, Texas to control of the state and enforce Lincoln’s orders to abolish slavery. According to legend, General Granger stood on the balcony of Galveston’s Ashton Villa on June 19 and proclaimed “General Order No. 3,” which read in part, “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.”
June 19 was dubbed “Juneteenth — a portmanteau of the words June and nineteenth — became an annual celebration for freed slaves in Galveston. Juneteenth is an official state holiday in Texas. The celebration is also an holiday or official observance in 35 other states, including Florida.
Did you know?
A portmanteau is a word that is created by combining two words. Popular pormanteau words include brunch (breakfast + lunch), Brangelina (Brad Pitt + Angelina Jolie), the Chunnel (English Channel + tunnel), smog (smoke + fog), wikipedia (wiki + encyclopedia) and blog (web + log).