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Juneteenth National Independence Day is celebrated every June 19th to commemorate the publication of the Confederate States of America's emancipation proclamation, General Order Number 3, on June 19, 1865. Celebrations were held in Galveston, Texas on this day in 1865. The following year African-American slaves throughout Texas read and sang the proclamation to their former masters on June 19 and 20th during Juneteenth celebrations.
As a reminder of their independence from slavery; Juneteen celebrations also highlight African-American culture such as joyous gospel music and spirituals with singing groups known as quindles (from "quintet"). Juneteenth celebrations also include fun, food and fireworks.
Juneteenth Independence Day is considered a day of remembrance in the United States as it commemorates the announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation on June 19, 1865. After two years in effect, General Lee's surrender to General Grant at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865, officially ended the American Civil War. It resulted in freedom for the nearly four million enslaved African-Americans, and they celebrated by holding church services all across Texas on June 19th and 20th that year; an event that later became known as Juneteenth ("June nineteenth") Celebration.
Due to the ambiguity of language regarding emancipation in the capitulation agreement, Ulysses S. Grant (the Union General of the time) suspended General Order No. Three on May 26, 1865, declaring "all slave are free", until such time as a proper interpretation and clarification of the text could be issued. The order was reinstated on June 19, 1865 by Major General Gordon Granger; who said that ""..you are free"", at a ceremony in Galveston, Texas when he read the contents of "General Order Number 3". The celebration commemorating this day is known as Juneteenth Independence Day, a collective memory that celebrates the end of slavery in Texas and other areas of America.