If you’re not from the United States, you may not realize that each state celebrates different “Emancipation Days,” depending on which date slaves learned of their freedom. When Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862, it was set to go into effect on January 1, 1863. Obviously, the states that were not yet a part of The Union would have no cause to celebrate. Kansas entered the Union as the 34th state in 1861, but West Virginia did not enter as the 35th state until June of 1863.
This is what The Union flag looked like at that time. Feel free to count the stars!
In Texas, Emancipation Day is celebrated on June 19. It commemorates the announcement of the abolition of slavery made on that day in 1865, when Union General Gordon Granger stood on the balcony of Galveston’s Ashton Villa to read the contents of “General Order No. 3”:
The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedman are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.
In Texas, that day has been an official state holiday since 1980. We call it Juneteenth, a name coming from a portmanteau of the word June and the suffix, “teenth”, as in “Nineteenth“, coined by 1903. (Thank you, Google.)
Also in 1903, a book was published on U.S. Presidents, which I have in my collection.
Except for a loose binding, it’s in remarkably good shape for a 110-year-old. God willing we should all live to such a ripe old age. I keep it as reference for the next generation, since history is constantly being rewritten by present
dictators publishers. As the Academy Award-winning movie Lincoln showed us last year, interest in President Lincoln has not faded. This book paints a loving portrait of the “awful smart chap.” CLICK TO ENLARGE.
As the audience is “young people,” the tone is consistent in its intent, which I find endearing. Here it explains why a tender-hearted Lincoln did not have each deserter shot dead, per accepted war protocol.
“While the world lasts, no one will ever forget the Emancipation Proclamation of Abraham Lincoln.” Let’s hope not.