Juneteenth, an American holiday celebrated on June 19, commemorates the day in 1865 when the Emancipation Proclamation — the federal order ending slavery in the United States — was read to enslaved African Americans in Texas. 

On that day, Union troops led by Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger arrived in Texas, where he announced the end of the Civil War and the abolition of slavery nationwide. The war had ended just two months earlier, when Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered on April 9, 1865; and it had been two years and nearly six months since the proclamation ending slavery was signed by President Abraham Lincoln, on Jan. 1, 1863. 



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