President Lincoln freed the slaves with the Emancipation Proclamation, which went into effect on New Year’s Day in 1863. However, back then they didn’t have CNN or the Internet.
So it wasn’t until two and a half years later, on June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers sailed into Galveston, Texas, to announce the end of the Civil War, that African Americans learned the news. The Union troops read aloud a general order freeing the quarter-million slaves residing in Texas. June nineteenth became the Texas holiday, Juneteenth.
It’s a perfect day for those celebrations in parks across Dallas and throughout Texas. Have fun out there!
Also: My cousin Jay and his sister Jennifer were born on Juneteenth in 1972. Man, how can they be so OLD? Jay is in Europe on a college grant of some sort to design a new museum in Paris. Or something. I can’t remember what my aunt actually said, plus she’s ditzy and doesn’t tell all the right details. Jen is searching for a new house in Norman, Oklahoma, and will hate to leave her job at TCU in Ft. Worth–but her husband is a professor of architecture and is moving to OU/Norman. (“Namron” to you SCA types. Part of The Steppes. I think.)
So everyone who’s celebrating and picnicking today–have a good time out there!