With all the discussion on making today a National Holiday, EarKandy radio wants to know your opinion. Comment Yes, No or undecided.
Juneteenth is a Texas state holiday celebrated annually on the 19th of June throughout the United States. Although the Emancipation Proclamation had formally freed them almost two and a half years earlier and the American Civil War had largely ended with the defeat of the Confederate States in April, Texas was the most remote of the slave states, with a low presence of Union troops, so enforcement of the proclamation had been slow and inconsistent.
This day marks the emancipation of all slaves in the Confederacy, the institution of slavery was still legal and existed in two Union border states after June 19, 1865. Slavery in the United States did not officially end until the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States on December 6, 1865, which abolished non-penal slavery in all of the U.S. states and territories.
Celebrations date to 1866, at first involving church-centered community gatherings in Texas. It spread across the South and became more commercialized in the 1920s and 1930s, often centering on a food festival. During the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, it was eclipsed by the struggle for postwar civil rights, but grew in popularity again in the 1970s with a focus on African American freedom and arts. By the 21st century, Juneteenth was celebrated in most major cities across the United States. Activists are campaigning for the United States Congress to recognize Juneteenth as a national holiday. Juneteenth is recognized as a state holiday or special day of observance in 49 of the 50 U.S. states, the exception being Hawaii.