The day is called “Juneteenth,” and it is the day that slaves in Texas finally received the news that they were free. The Emancipation Proclamation was issued by Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863 banning slavery throughout the nation, however news traveled so slow at the time that it was not until June 19, 1865 that all slaves were finally free.
The reason it took so long was because the war was still going on at the time of the issuance. The westernmost Confederate states, such as Texas, were still under the control of the South, meaning it had zero significance. General Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomatox in April. It was not until two months later that Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas with 2000 Union troops. He publically announced General Order No. 3 which said, “The people of Texas are informed that all slaves are free.” 250,000 former slaves stood in amazement as they heard the news of which they had no idea would arrive, that they were free people.