"We write under a deep sense of responsibility. The fate of our country is suspended on the events of a few short months. By virtue of prompt, earnest, faithful efforts, we may be redeemed from a fate worse than death, and our country may be blessed with peace and free government. If we sleep, or if we meanly and ignobly refuse to listen to the calls of our struggling, bleeding land, we may plunge into a yawning abyss of degradation, ruin and misery, and fall like the darkened star to rise no more."
June 19, 1865 — Juneteenth: General Order No. 3, by Major-General Gordon Granger
"On June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger landed at the port of Galveston to extend Union military and civil authority over Texas. The most controversial and far-reaching of his civil edicts, General Order No. 3, enforced the terms of the Emancipation Proclamation and liberated more than 200,000 Black slaves. That event is commemorated today as Juneteenth."