More Than One Freedom Day in the USA
The July 4th Independence Day holiday is well known in the USA ... picnics, flags, and
sparklers to celebrate our country's freedom from rule by England. But we have another
important Freedom Day this month that should be celebrated by all Americans ...
Many people don't know that the Emancipation Proclamation that freed America's
slaves in January, 1863 did not free all US slaves. 250,000 Black people were still
enslaved in the Confederate state of Texas. On June 19, 1865 -- two and a half years
after freedom came for the rest of the nation, the Union army arrived in Galveston Bay,
to announce that all Black people enslaved in Texas were free by executive decree --
and celebrations took place all over Texas.
Juneteenth (a combination of June and Nineteenth) is also known as Jubilee Day,
Liberation Day, and Freedom Day. People enjoy special religious services, readings,
inspirational speeches, stories from formerly enslaved people, games and contests,
prayer services, and feasting on traditional foods from the Black community.
And this week, we are happy to say that the US government has officially designated
Juneteenth a federal holiday -- so we, as a nation, will finally celebrate together the day we were all set free.