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Juneteenth: Celebration with a Dubious Purpose

Juneteenth: Celebration with a Dubious Purpose

Date: Friday, June 18, 2004

This weekend, Juneteenth observances around the nation will have singing, dancing and barbecuing by hundreds of thousands who will be celebrating the day in June 1865 that slaves in Galveston, Texas were told about the Emancipation Proclamation.

But in fact, slavery wasn’t officially ended in this country until December 18, 1865 – the day the 13th amendment to the Constitution was ratified. That action came nearly three years after Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, which ordered the freeing of slaves in areas controlled by the Confederacy. But since the country was in the throes of the Civil War, that order was virtually unenforceable.

Historian Russell Adams told that those who recognize June 19, 1865, as the “African-American Emancipation Day,” as the Web site states, have good intentions. But the record, he said, should be set straight.



18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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