What is JUNETEENTH?
Juneteenth, or June 19th, 1865, is considered the date when the last slaves in America were freed. Although the rumors of freedom were widespread before this, actual emancipation did not come until General Gordon Granger rode into Galveston, Texas and issued General Order No. 3, on June 19th, almost two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.
But Didn't the Emancipation Proclamation Free Us?
“Little Know Black History Fact From Ohio” - President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22nd, 1862, notifying the states in rebellion against the Union that if they did not cease their rebellion and return to the Union by January 1st, 1863, he would declare their slaves forever free. Needless to say, the proclamation was ignored by those states that seceeded from the Union. Furthermore, the proclamation did not apply to those slave-holding states that did not rebel against the Union. As a result, about 800,000 slaves were unaffected by the provisions of the proclamation. It would take a civil war to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to formally outlaw slavery in the United States.
When is Juneteenth Celebrated?
Annually, on June 19th, in more than 200 cities in the United States. Some cities sponsor week-long celebrations, culminating on June 19th, while others hold shorter celebrations.
Why is Juneteenth Celebrated?
Why Not Just Celebrate the Fourth of July Like Other Americans?
It symbolizes the end of slavery. Juneteenth has come to symbolize for many African-Americans what the fourth of July symbolizes for all Americans -- Freedom. It serves as a historical milestone reminding Americans of the triumph of the human spirit over the cruelty of slavery. It honors those African-American ancestors who survived the inhumane institution of bondage, as well as demonstrating pride in the marvelous legacy of resistance and perseverance they left us.
Blacks do celebrate the Fourth of July in honor of American Independence Day, but history reminds us that blacks were still enslaved when the United States obtained its independence.
Why Were Slaves in Texas the Last to Know that They Were Free?
During the Civil War, Texas did not experience any significant invasion by Union forces. Although the Union army made several attempts to invade Texas, they were thwarted by Confederate troops. As a result, slavery in Texas continued to thrive. In fact, because slavery in Texas experienced such a minor interruption in its operation, many slave owners from other slave-holding states brought their slaves to Texas to wait out the war. News of the emancipation was suppressed due to the overwhelming influence of slave owners.
|Warren G. Harding (1865-1923) 1st Negro President From Ohio
The book Warren G. Harding, President of the United States, is one of the rarest books ever printed in America. There are only three known copies. Of all the American presidents who died in office, none had more questions surrounding his sudden death than the 29th President, Warren Harding. The file is still missing and is one of history's most famous cases. It didn’t take Professor William Estabrook Chancellor of Wooster College (1920) to make a study of the Harding family to supply the genealogical material for “Murmuring Colored Campaign” Pamphlet. The Norman-Harding family could have supplied the information.
PERHAPS THE MOST SURPRISING single event of Harding’s Presidency was his blunt speech on October 26, 1921, to a segregated crowd in Birmingham, Alabama, stating that democracy would always be a sham until African Americans received full equality in education, employment, and political life. Harding went further than any of his predecessors since Lincoln to call for “an end to prejudice." The first President to discuss civil rights in the South so frankly, he was loudly cheered by blacks and met with silent stares from whites as he declared: “I want to see the time come when black men will regard themselves as full participants in the benefits and duties of American citizenship. . . . We cannot go on, as we have gone on for more than half a century, with one great section of our population . . . set off from the real contribution to solving national issues, because of a division of race lines. . . . Let the black man vote when he is fit to vote, prohibit the white man [from] voting when he is unfit to vote.” HE CERTAINLY WANTED HIS FAMILY TO HAVE THE CIVIL RIGHTS HE HAD ENJOYED SINCE CROSSING THE "COLOR LINE."