Although the Emancipation Proclamation was issued
in 1863, slavery continued in Texas until
June 19, 1865, when word reached Galveston, Texas
that all slaves in Texas were free. One third of
the people in Texas were slaves at that time.
Juneteenth was celebrated annually with picnics
and barbecues at public emancipation grounds,
some of which are used to this day. Juneteenth
became a legal state holiday in 1980.