Today the Institute for the Study of Human Rights celebrates Juneteenth. Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in all 50 states. Although President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1st, 1863, it was not read to enslaved people in Texas until two and a half years later, on June 19th, 1865. On this day, Union soldiers alerted enslaved people in Galveston, Texas that the war was over and they were free. June 19th is sometimes referred to as “Juneteenth Independence Day,” “Freedom Day,” or “Emancipation Day”.