Character of a Queen
Yet, not everyone in the Confederate territory would immediately be free. The Emancipation Proclamation took effect in 1863, however it could not be implemented in the states still under Confederate control.
But on June 19, 1865, some 2,000 Union Soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, arrived in Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and the enslaved were now free. More than 250,000 enslaved black people were free by executive decree. This day came to be known as "Juneteenth," by the newly freed people in Texas.
Ms. Opal Lee was born October 7, 1926. She is an American retired teacher, counselor, and activist in the Juneteenth movement. She published the book Juneteenth: A Children's Story and also co-wrote a stage play about the events of June 19, 1865. She began Opal’s Walk to Washington DC in 2016 at age 89. She walked all around the country for years. She started with the plan to walk the 1,400 miles from Fort Worth, Texas to Washington, DC in hopes of gaining support from Congress to officially name Juneteenth a national holiday. Opal’s walk would not be in vain. For decades, Juneteenth was mainly a Texas thing. However, on June 17, 2021, President Joe Biden signed Senate Bill S. 475, making Juneteenth the eleventh federal holiday. And at age 96, Ms. Opal Lee was there to witness this historical event.
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