Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. In 1865, it was on June 19 that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Note that this announcement came two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which became official January 1, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on Texans due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new executive order. However, with the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865 and the arrival of General Granger’s regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance.