By Lois Charm
On June 19th, the nation will recognize one of the oldest celebrations in United States history: Juneteenth. According to History.com, Juneteenth celebrates the end of slavery and “is the oldest running African American holiday."
The holiday was created in 1866, as a way freedmen decided to commemorate the day they heard the military orders stating their freedom, according to PBS.
NBC News also states that, these orders, General Orders No. 3, were shared “when Union General Gordon Granger led thousands of federal troops to Galveston, Texas to announce that the Civil War had ended, and slaves had been freed.”
Even though the Emancipation Proclamation was passed in 1863, according to History.com, it wasn’t until about two-and-a-half years later, on June 19, 1865, that Texan slaves were told of their freedom, in which they then passed the news to others.
“In 1980 ‘Emancipation Day in Texas’ became a legal state holiday in recognition of Juneteenth and today the holiday is recognized as a state holiday in 47 states. Also, around the nation, the holiday is also referred to as Emancipation Day, Freedom Day, and Black Independence Day,” according to NBC News.
This year Nashville will be hosting a series of events commemorating Juneteenth. These events include: the Music City Freedom Festival, Juneteenth on the River, Juneteenth Music Festival, Juneteenth Outreach, and more.
For more information about Juneteenth, visit: https://juneteenth.com
Lois Charm is a freelance journalist for Writing by Design Media, Inc.