Juneteenth is a celebration of freedom. In 1863 the Emancipation Proclamation was passed which freed the enslaved people in the southern states that seceded from the Union. Texas was one of those states and it did not honor the emancipation proclamation. Many enslaved people in the other southern states heard about the emancipation proclamation and left the southern plantations to join the union army, find family members who had been sold away, or went off to seek a better life. Unfortunately, the enslaved people in Texas were not made aware of this law. It wasn’t until 1865 when the enslaved people learned that they were free. On June 19th, 1865, General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, and delivered the message to let the people know that the war was over and they were free.
Ritenour celebrated Juneteenth with a Lunch-N-Learn this year. Use the resources from the special event to learn more: