Today, June 19th, celebrates the holiday that has become known as âJuneteenthâ (or Emancipation/Freedom Day) in honor of the day slavery was officially abolished in the state of Texas in 1865.
The History of Juneteenth
President Lincoln had officially freed the slaves with the Emancipation Proclamation with the effective date of January 1, 1863. But this effort had little effect in the Confederate states, Texas in particular, because of the lack of Union soldiers available to enforce the Executive Order.
With the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865, Union forces finally had the influence to overcome the remaining resistance. On June 19th, 1865, General Gordon Granger and 2,000 federal troops arrived in Galveston Texas to enforce the freeing of the slaves.
“The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and free laborer.â
Juneteenth as a Holiday
Former slaves began to rejoice immediately and the first Juneteenth celebration was officially observed in Texas the following year on June 19th.
As former slaves began to migrate north and as the Great Depression began to take hold several decades later, the observance of Juneteenth began to decline in the early 1900s with several revivals throughout the century. It wasnât until January 1, 1980, that the holiday became official when Texas became the first state to recognize the holiday
Today, 42 states officially recognize Juneteenth, which has taken on a âmore national, symbolic and even global perspective,â to promote pride as well as to cultivate knowledge and appreciation of African American history and culture.â
Featured Image Source: NNBCAS.org
Latest posts by ChuckM (see all)
- A Millennial Guide to Buying Your First Home - January 4, 2017
- Getting to the Truth: Top Mortgage Misconceptions and Facts - December 28, 2016
- What Are the Most Common Reasons Why People Get Turned Down for Loans? - December 14, 2016