President Lincoln had issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. In the Emancipation, everyone who was held as a slave is now set free, but it wasn't until June 19th, 1865 when Major General Gordon Granger, had come to Galveston, Texas when the last people found out about the abolitionist of slavery. On top of informing everyone that the enslaved were now free, Major General Granger also brought news that the Civil War was over.
The reason behind the wait that has two different stories. The first story is said that there was a messenger that was sent to inform people, but on his way to Texas, was murdered. The second story was that slave owners did know about the Emancipation, but decided to keep the information from the ones enslaved so they would keep working on their plantations.
Texas, where the news about slaves being freed reached last, had become the first state to have Juneteenth a state holiday. Even though many states have Juneteenth as a state holiday, it's not a federal one yet. As of 2014, 43 states and the District of Columbia either have Juneteenth as a state holiday or a day of observance.
There are a lot of events that happen on the holiday today including rodeos, picnics, fishing, barbecuing, baseball, prayer services, and guest speakers. Guest speakers come in and talk about past events. Everyone makes a special dish, and strawberry soda is a popular beverage on this day. Clothing is also important on this day as well. During the slavery area, people could only wear certain clothing in many different areas.
African American freedom and achievement along with encouraging self-development is also celebrated. Some people celebrate for a day, some for a week, and some celebrate all month long.