Today marks Juneteenth, the oldest known holiday celebrating the abolition of slavery in the United States. It was on this day, 149 years ago, that the state of Texas officially adhered to the Emancipation Proclamation.
President Lincoln issued the proclamation on September 22, 1862. It was to go in to effect by January 1 of the following year.
While state within the confederacy complied with the proclamation, Texas rebelled up until 1865. On June 19 of that year, Texas General Gordon Granger issued “General Order No. 3” officially order freeing slaves in the state. The first Juneteenth celebration was held a year later.
Juneteenth marked an important moment in the life of our nation. But it was only the beginning of a long and difficult struggle for equal rights and equal treatment under the law. This year, as we also mark the 50th Anniversary of Freedom Summer, we honor those who continued to fight for equality and opportunity for Americans of every race and every background. And we recommit ourselves to the unending work of perfecting our Union.
More than 40 states currently recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday, or holiday for special observance.
Click the gallery below to see images of how Juneteenth was commemorated on Social media.
Photos: Library of commerce/Instagram/Twitter