Juneteenth the Commemoration of the Abolition of Slavery
Understanding the Commemoration of Juneteenth
In 1865, African slaves on Galveston Island, were not aware that two years earlier President Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation. They found out they were free when Major Gen. Gordon Granger led Union soldiers onto Galveston Island on June 19, 1865, The day’s month(June) and date ( 19-teenth) were then combined and the term “Juneteenth” was coined to commemorate the day.
Juneteenth is widely regarded as America’s Second Independence Day or Freedom Day, or the Emancipation Day and is observed throughout the United States. It is officially commemorated in 43 states and is a state holiday in the state of Texas which is referred to as the “home of the last to know.”
Many cities throughout the U.S. hold African – American festivals and other events to commemorate the holiday.
Your family can commemorate Juneteenth by:
- Visiting a local Underground Railrod house, see a geographcal list here http://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/underground/states.htm
- Attend a local Juneteenth Festival or Celebration – search “Juneteenth Festival 2016” on the Internet
- Young adults might enjoy reading these books about slavery
Please share what your family does to commemorate the day.
Ms. Jensen is a leading advocate for families and children and was the founder and president of ACES, The Association for Children for Enforcement of Support.
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