Galveston.com JUNETEENTH: Norris Wright Cuney Park
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JUNETEENTH: Norris Wright Cuney Park
718 41st StGalveston, TX 77550
This park is a monument to the great civic leader, politician, businessman, and labor organizer whose mother was a slave. As a political leader on the island he was elected twice to the Board of Aldermen, representing Ward 12 on the east end of the island. Among his many accomplishments in Galveston he made it possible for African Americans to work as stevedores on the wharf. His political clout helped in the building of public schools for African American children. Many civic and social programs, including Juneteenth activities, are held at the park. A new building was erected in 2004.
On June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger issued General Order #3 in Galveston to inform the people of Texas that a proclamation from President Abraham Lincoln deemed that all slaves were free. This message took more than two and a half years to reach Texas.
Juneteenth celebrations commemorating the freedom of Texas' 250,000 slaves started in Galveston and are now observed throughout America. More than 24 states recognize this date as a state holiday or have some official form of observance.
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