May 24, 2024

Juneteenth 2012 – Be There

Gen. Granger

On June 19, 1865, two years after president Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, General Gordon Ganger of the Union Army sailed into Galveston harbor and saw slavery still in operation, a situation he promptly ended,  issuing General Order No. 3. The order stated simply, “…all slaves are free.”

General Ganger further ordered the former owners to provide food, shelter and monetary compensation to their former slaves – in this way assuring safe keeping for the suddenly freed workers and a labor source for the plantations to harvest their summer crops.

This date has since become known as Juneteenth, created as a time to celebrate freedom. The celebration became an official Texas state holiday in 1980 and since then 38 other states plus the District of Columbia have come to recognize the date.

Maryland is not one of the states recognizing Juneteenth as an official holiday. Yet this year, 2011, was the 8th time Juneteenth was  celebrated in Lexington Park, organized by the United Committee for Afro-American Contributions. UCAC President Nathanial Scroggins believes Lexington Park can lead the way to a wider celebration:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJinxsLHOKs]

As of Juneteenth 2011 the 39 states recognized the date as either a state holiday or state holiday observance are Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas,Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

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