Although Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation more than two years earlier, it wasn’t until this day in 1865 that Union General Gordon Granger was able to get to Galveston, Texas to let those remaining enslaved Americans know the Civil War was over and all slaves were free. The Republican Party will always be proudly connected to Juneteenth because of President Lincoln’s leadership, and we enthusiastically welcome its adoption as our newest national holiday after President Trump called for it last year.
Many years ago, schools in my home state of California used to celebrate two of our greatest presidents’ birthdays, February 12 for Abraham Lincoln and February 22 for George Washington, as holidays. Children would learn stories about how a poor boy who grew up in a log cabin became the president who held our nation together against all odds, and about a surveyor, soldier, planter who risked everything to bring our great nation into being.
The First Lady and I send our warmest greetings to those celebrating Juneteenth this year.
On this day 155 years ago, African Americans in Texas first heard the righteous and long-overdue words of General Order Number 3: “All slaves are free.” These words confirmed for still-enslaved people in Texas that the Union Army would enforce and defend their freedom, announced nearly 3 years earlier by President Abraham Lincoln in his Emancipation Proclamation
The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr (MLK) was born on January 15, 1929. If he were still alive today, he would be 93 years old. MLK died at the age of 39, but what a life did he live! I am glad that 50+ years after his death (1968), his legacy and impact still lives