Opal Lee, a 92-year-old champion of making Juneteenth an official National Day of Observance, is coming Saturday to Galveston to walk 2.5 miles and promote her project.

Kathryn Eastburn: 409-683-5257;

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(4) comments

Bailey Jones

I would love to see this. I can't think of any event in American history more worthy of celebration than the abolition of slavery and the emancipation of 3 million plus Americans.

Charlotte O'rourke


Carlos Ponce

June 19th is a good day for a Texas celebration but Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862 and later on January 1, 1863. Each state and DC has their own Emancipation date. For instance:

Louisiana January 19, 1863, Mississippi May 8, 1863. District of Columbia April 16, 1862, etc. Slavery officially ended on December 6, 1865 when the necessary number of states ratified the 13th Amendment.

Leonce Thierry

June 19, 1865 takes on a greater historical significance given the arrival of Granger to take Union control of the Galveston Port. With Granger’s arrival, all cotton leaving the Port of Galveston was quartermastered to Union control. In addition to his historic Generals Orders No. 3, Granger issued other Orders declaring the Confederacy of Texas as illegitimate and labeling Confederate Soldiers as “enemies of the human race.”

Generals Orders No. 3 has its own unique history. It reads:

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 3. -- The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, "all slaves are tree." 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.

By command of Maj.-Gen. GRANGER.

As a historic document, Granger’s Order uses the term “absolute equality” in describing the relationship of freed slaves to their slave owners. Neither the Emancipation Proclamation nor the 13th Amendment define freed slaves as equal to their former slave owners. This is why Granger and his arrival to Galveston takes on a much greater historical significance.

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