After the end of the civil war, Union General Gordan Granger and his 2,000 troops took control of Texas. His first act was to read the proclamation, “All slaves are free.” So, on June 19th, 1865, over two years after the emancipation proclamation was signed, the last slaves were free.
Now, every year on June 19th, “Juneteenth” is celebrated in remembrance of independence for African Americans.
In 1980, Texas became the first state to declare Juneteenth an official state holiday. 45 states now recognize it as a state holiday, and as an important part of American history.