As quoted by General Orders, Number 3; Headquarters District of Texas, Galveston June 19, 1865 “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. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.”
Since the late 1800s, African Americans have commemorated Juneteenth, an annual celebration commemorating the abolition of slavery in the United States following the Civil War. After heightened interest in the day during the summer of 2020 and worldwide protests following the police killings of African Americans including George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, President Biden signed legislation last year making Juneteenth a federal holiday.