Juneteenth: What is the historically important day and how did it start?

In his order, Union Army Maj Gen Gordon Granger announced that “the people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free”. What was left of local Confederate armies and militia men held out in uprisings as slavers in the southern states migrated west to the Confederacy stronghold of Texas, along with thousands of enslaved people they had taken with them. 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.” Slavery’s formal end ushered in a decade of Reconstruction, which sought the continued emancipation of black Americans and inclusion of the secessionist states into the US amid white supremacist paramilitary terror and a devastated post-war economy. “Black codes” in economically devastated southern states subjected harsh penalties for newly freed black Americans for crimes like loitering or breaking curfew, ensuring they would remain in chains for decades to follow. The practice of “convict leasing” prisoners for labour to build railways and mines, among other private construction projects, became ”slavery by another name” that is echoed in today’s mass incarceration that disproportionately impacts black Americans. Parades, festivals, concerts, family gatherings, church services and other community events are hosted across the US, but Juneteenth remains an unofficial national holiday.