U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) released the following open letter to Texans on Juneteenth:
Dear Fellow Texans:
Today on Juneteenth, we commemorate the anniversary of the momentous day in 1865 when freedom reached Texas.
It was on June 19th, 1865 that U.S. Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas with 2,000 Union soldiers, and more importantly, with history-altering news that would change Texans’ lives forever.
General Granger announced the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, that all who were once enslaved would be free. He read General Order No. 3 from the balcony of the Ashton Villa: “This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property.”
As the good news spread across our state, celebrations quickly followed. There was much to celebrate; for the first time in their lives, hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children were finally free.
Today we celebrate that freedom and the heritage, identity, and rich contributions of African-Americans in Texas. It is also a time to reflect on the scourge of slavery, the beacon of freedom, and the long road to equality our nation has been on since 1865 – a road we are still traveling.
I have cosponsored a resolution to commemorate Juneteenth this year in the Senate, and I pledge to continue working each day to promote freedom and equality, and to help all Texans live freer, more fulfilling lives for generations to come.
May God bless you, and may He continue to bless the great state of Texas.
U.S. Senator for Texas