In the United States, Juneteenth is the oldest celebration, and it celebrates the end of slavery in the United States. For a celebration that has been going on for so long, I've never really heard about it. So, I did a little research. Here are nineteen facts that I learned.
1. On June 19th, 1965, The Union Soldiers went to Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended.
The army was led by Major General Gordon Granger.
2. They were also told that the soldiers were free.
Two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation became official on January 1, 1863.
3. At the time, the Emancipation had very little limit on Texas.
There weren't that many Union troops in Texas to enforce the proclamation.
4. General Robert E. Lee surrender on April 9, but the news did not reach Texas until May 1865
5. There was a range of reaction.
Shock. Surprised. Happy.
6. Even with nowhere to go, most left the plantations.
7. After being free, some went to the North while others went to states that were closer like Louisiana and Arkansas to reunite with family
8. The celebration was called Juneteenth, and it grew more popular as the years went on.
9. Some descendants of slaves go back to Galveston on June 19th to celebrate.
10. There are alot of activities held that range from rodeos to baseball
11. Strawberry soda/pop became a popular drink on this day.
The drink is also associated with the day.
12. Barbecuing is also very popular on this day
13. People would prepared a special dish.
For example, foods like lambs, pork, and beef.
14. Dress is also a part of the day
During slavery, there were strictly was to what slaves could and not wear.
15. 45 out of 50 states in the US including District of Columbia have Juneteenth as a state holiday or a day of observance
16. Early celebrations happened in rural areas.
They would fish, go horseback back riding, barbecues, and go to church that took place on site.
17. In 1980, Texas became the first state to establish Juneteenth as a state holiday.
18. Juneteenth celebrations declined during early 1900s later rose again during the Civil Rights Movement during the 50s and 60s
The decline was due to economic and political reasons
19. Two of the largest celebrations are held in Milwaukee and Minneapolis
Juneteenth, also called Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, is a state holdiay or special day that is observed 45 out of 50 states. It is celebrated every year on June 19th. Celebrations include reading the Emancipation Proclamation and singing traditional songs.
Sources: Juneteenth.Com and Wikipedia