Ever since 1776, America has acknowledged the Fourth of July as our day of independence. But there’s another independence day — today, June 19 —that’s acknowledged by many others as our true day of freedom.
On this day in 1865, General Gordon Granger came to Galveston, Texas and issued General Order Number 3. The order came two and a half years after Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, and is recognized as the day that slavery came to an end in the United States.
While 41 states in the United States recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday, it’s never been recognized as a national holiday or day of observance. Rev. Ronald Myers Sr. has been fighting for years to change that. He’s the founder and chair of the National Juneteenth Holiday Campaign.