Today, June 19, is the holiday, Juneteenth. This celebrates the abolition of slavery in Texas, and in Texas it is a legal holiday. Thirty other states recognize the holiday, although they do not require closing of state offices as Texas does.
On June 19 ("Juneteenth"), 1865, Union general Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston and issued General Order Number 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. 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." (Texas Handbook on Line)Juneteenth is a day of jubilation. How about a good old- fashioned picnic in the park? A few fireworks and a band would be in order, too!