• Jace Shoemaker-Galloway

Juneteenth: Historical event celebrates freedom, equal rights & end of slavery

If you are a regular follower of this column, you know we celebrate all sorts of holidays, special events and occasions. June 19 celebrates an important event in American history. Juneteenth, also referred to as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, is an annual occasion that celebrates freedom and equal rights. Juneteenth is observed in many American states and is considered an actual holiday for some state employees.

Despite the fact the Emancipation Proclamation was signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863, some people were still living as slaves in Texas. Keep in mind that with no television, Internet and handy dandy gadgets, news spread very, very slowly back in the day. On June 19, 1865, U.S. Army General Gordon Granger and Union soldiers arrived in Galveston and announced the end of the Civil War. They also read the order that all remaining slaves in Texas were freed – finally ending slavery in the United States.

Today, Juneteenth is celebrated with various get-togethers, parties and celebrations across the nation.

June 19 is also National Martini Day and World Sauntering Day.