Juneteenth

Juneteenth

It is easy to boil down something that happened a long time ago into a simple story that really wasn’t simple at all. Sometimes that happens because time passes and memories fade. Sometimes that happens because the story is complicated to begin with. The ending of slavery in America is complicated in that way. It did not happen all at once like you might think.

Today, June 19th, is Juneteenth, a day that commemorates the end of slavery. Why this day? On June 19, 1865 Union soldiers arrived in Texas and spread the word that President Lincoln had delivered his Emancipation Procalamation on January 1, 1863…two YEARS earlier. Back in those days, it took news A LOT longer to travel! Plus, in this case, there were people who deliberately kept the news from traveling. Here is the timeline:

1. January 1, 1863 The Emancipation Proclamation was an executive order made by Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War. It declared slaves in the Confederacy free. It affected some slaves, but not all of them.

2. June 19, 1865 Freedom Day in Texas – Texas was very remote back then and news traveled slow. It also took a Free at Lastlong time for the Union army to makes its way to Texas. On June 19, a Union General read out loud “General Order No. 3”, announcing the total emancipation of slaves in Texas. The day became known as “Juneteenth” (“June” plus “nineteenth”) and is widely celebrated today in Texas and across the country, as an important day commemorating the freeing of slaves in America.

3. December 6, 1865 The Thirteenth Amendment This amendment to the Constitution completely abolished slavery and involuntary servitude except as the punishment of a crime.

Books:

Abraham Lincoln the Great EmancipatorBen and the Emancipation ProclamationDays of JubileeEmancipation Proclamation Lincoln and the Dawn of LibertyEmancipation ProclamationFifty Cents and a Dream Young Booker T. WashingtonFreedom from SlaveryFreedom's Gifts a Juneteenth StoryHope's GiftHow Abraham Lincoln Ended SlaveryJuneteenthJuneteenthJuneteenthJuneteenthJuneteenth JamboreeLift Every Voice and SingThe Story of JuneteenthWhen Were the Slaves First Set Free After the Civil War
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