Junetheen: A Day of Remembrance
June 19, 2023
Teach and Remember
History of Juneteenth
According to the official website of the historical event, Juneteenth is ‘the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.’ More than 155 years old, Juneteenth celebrates the liberation of African Americans from slavery in the U.S. The reason for it being celebrated on June 19 is because, on this day in 1865, when Major General Gordon Granger of the Union Army landed in Texas, he brought the news that the Civil War had ended, and all slaves were free.
The proclamation declaring the abolishment of slavery was issued by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, in the nation’s third year of an ongoing civil war. Known as the Emancipation Proclamation, it declared that ‘all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State […] shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.’ Granger’s arrival at Texas was to enforce this decree, which had originally gone into effect two years earlier.
The news had come as a shock to more than 250,000 slaves in Texas who were unaware of it. On June 19, in the city of Galveston, Granger publicly read General Order No. 3, which stated: ‘The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.’
Texas slaves finally gain their freedom on June 19, 1865.
July 4, 2023
United States Independence Day
Independence Day, also called Fourth of July or July 4th, in the United States, the annual celebration of nationhood. It commemorates the passage of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. The Declaration announced the political separation of the 13 North American colonies from Great Britain.