Happy Belated Juneteenth Day!
June 21, 2010 Leave a comment
What is Juneteenth day, you may ask? Juneteenth Day, aka, Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, is the oldest nationally celebrated holiday of the ending of slavery in the United States. Celebrated on June 19th, it commemorates the announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas in 1865.
But wait, you may ask, didn’t President Lincoln sign the Emancipation Proclamation , which declared “that all persons held as slaves” within the rebellious states “are, and henceforward shall be free.” in 1863, two years earlier???
Yes, he did, however, due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new Executive Order, the Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on the Texans. It wasn’t until the surrender of General Robert E. Lee in April of 1865, and the arrival of Major General Gordon Granger’s regiment in Galveston, Texas, that the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance.
Juneteenth celebrates African American freedom and achievement, while encouraging continuous self-development and respect for all cultures. Texas became the first state in 1980 to observe it as an official state holiday. To date, 36 states, including New York, and the District of Columbia recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday.