What was the “Emancipation Proclamation”?

On June 19, 1865, the Union General, Gordon Granger, and his troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, to enforce the new freedoms granted to former slaves by signing the Emancipation Proclamation of President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. Until then, minimal presence of the Union in the Texas region meant that the vast majority of African Americans still lived in virtual slavery.

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6/18/12  Ralph Barrera/American-Statesman; The annual Juneteenth parade traveled through East Austin streets Tuesday morning lined with thousands of residents cheering the floats and dancers while lining their pockets with candy and their hands with cardboard fans. The parade made its way down Chicon St. and into the heart of Rosewood Park for more festivities. DeMarcus Pierre leads the Greater Houston All Stars as they play and perform in the parade.  (related story)