This week in Houston history: Tidings of freedom reached slaves in Galveston

Each week, KHOU 11 News will bring you "This week in Houston history", as a way to highlight the achievements and advancements made each day in this great city of ours.

 

June 19, 1865 - ("Juneteenth") Union general Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston and issued General Order Number 3, which read in part, "The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor." The tidings of freedom reached the approximately 250,000 slaves in Texas gradually as individual plantation owners informed their bondsmen over the months following the end of the war. The news elicited an array of personal celebrations, some of which have been described in The Slave Narratives of Texas (1974). The first broader celebrations of Juneteenth were used as political rallies and to teach freed African American about their voting rights. Within a short time, however, Juneteenth was marked by festivities throughout the state, some of which were organized by official Juneteenth committees.

A dedication was held on June 19, 2017 for the newly renamed Emancipation Avenue in Southeast Houston. Over the weekend, the city held a dedication ceremony for Emancipation Park. The land was bought in 1872 by former slaves as a place to get together and celebrate their freedom. 


 

June 21, 1913 - Ima Hogg's Houston Symphony Society debuts with a convert at the Majestic Theatre. 

June 22, 1994 - The Houston Rockets win their first NBA championship and giving Houston a new nickname, 'Clutch City'.

Information provided by the Texas State Historical Association.

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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