KSL: What is Juneteenth and why does it matter in Utah today?

KSL, June 19, 2020: What is Juneteenth and why does it matter in Utah today?

Editor’s note: This article is a part of a series reviewing Utah and U.S. history for KSL.com’s Historic section. This story also contains an image some may find graphic or disturbing.

Friday marks 155 years since Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, to deliver the message that Texas was once again under Union control and that all remaining slaves must be freed.

That moment on June 19, 1865, could be seen as the true end of the Civil War, even if the Confederate Army had surrendered two months prior. By the end of 1865, the 13th amendment of the U.S. Constitution was ratified and the practice of involuntary slavery was forever banned.

“Juneteenth,” also called Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, turned into the celebration of the day it ended and it has grown since then.

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