Explainer: The Story of Juneteenth, a New Federal Holiday | Lifestyle

The US government is catching up with blacks who have been celebrating the end of slavery in the United States for generations on a day called “Juneteenth.”

President Joe Biden signed a bill passed by Congress on Thursday, setting June 16 or June 19 as a federal holiday. “I hope this is the beginning of a change in the way we deal with each other,” he said.

The Senate unanimously approved the bill. Only 14 House Republicans, many of the leading states that were part of the Confederate Slavery in the 19th century, opposed the bill.

What is this federal holiday and what is its history? The appearance is as follows.


The celebration began with the liberated slaves in Galveston, Texas. The Emancipation Proclamation released southern slaves in 1863, but could not be enforced in many places until the end of the 1865 Civil War.

Freed from a farm near Bellville, Texas, Laura Smolley recalled in an interview in 1941 that her ex-master went to battle in the Civil War and returned home without telling her slaves what had happened. It was.

“Old masters didn’t say they were free, as you know,” Smalley said at the time. “Now I think they say they worked six months later. Six months. And loosen them on June 19th. That’s why we celebrate that day.”

Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger and his army arrived in Galveston on June 19, 1865, with news that the war was over and slaves were released. It’s been more than two months since General Robert E. Lee of the Confederates surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant of Virginia.

Granger has submitted General Order No. 3 stating: “Texas people are informed that all slaves are free, according to a declaration from the US administration. This is the absolute equality of personal and property rights between the former master and slave. The connections that previously existed between them will be the connections between employers and employed workers. “

The following year, now free people began celebrating Juneteenth in Galveston. Since then, that compliance has continued nationwide and around the world. Events include concerts, parades, and readings of the Emancipation Proclamation.

This updated handout, provided by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum on Tuesday, June 8, shows a signed copy of the Emancipation Proclamation. A rare copy of the Emancipation Proclamation signed by Lincoln and then Secretary of State William Seward appears when Illinois General Assembly signs Juneteenth’s statutory holiday. Illinois has become the latest state to make Juneteenth an official state holiday as Governor JB Pritzker signed a bill on Wednesday, June 16, 2021 near a signed copy of the Emancipation Proclamation. ..

What does “Juneteenth” mean?

The term Juneteenth is a combination of the words June and 19. This holiday is also known as Juneteenth Independence Day or Freedom Day.

Often initially celebrated with church picnics and speeches, the holidays spread nationwide and internationally as the Black Texas moved elsewhere.

Most states recognize June 16 as a holiday or recognition day, such as a national flag anniversary, and most states have holidays. Juneteenth is a paid vacation for state employees in Texas, New York, Virginia, and Washington, and hundreds of companies give their workers Juneteenth holidays.

Why now?

Nationwide calculations of racing have helped Juneteenth set the stage for becoming the first new federal holiday since 1983, when Martin Luther King Jr. Day was founded.

This bill is D-Mass. It was sponsored by Senator Edward Markey of the United States and had 60 co-sponsors. Bipartisan support emerged as lawmakers struggled to overcome the still-simmering division after police killed George Floyd in Minnesota last year.

Holiday advocates have sought to remember why the June holiday exists.

“The country was liberated from the United Kingdom in 1776, but not all the people were free,” said Dee Evans, director of public relations at the National Juneteenth Compliance Foundation, in 2019. The whole country was actually free. “

There is also the feeling of using the day to remember the sacrifices made for freedom in the United States. Especially in these racially and politically criticized times. Paralanel Agboga, Museum Site Coordinator of the George Washington Carver Museum Cultural Charter Center in Austin, Texas, said:

Copyright 2021 AP communication. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.

Explainer: The Story of Juneteenth, a New Federal Holiday | Lifestyle

Source link Explainer: The Story of Juneteenth, a New Federal Holiday | Lifestyle

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