The period after Juneteenth is known as the ‘Scatter.’
After the declaration, many former slaves left the area during the original reading. In the weeks that followed, formerly enslaved people left Texas in great numbers to find their family members and make their way in the postbellum United States.
When The Civil War ended in the summer of the year 1865; Union General Gordon Granger and his troops traveled to Galveston, Texas to announce General Orders No. 3 on June 19, 1865, and so June 19th would go on to be known and celebrated as Juneteenth.
General Orders No. 3 stated; “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor.”
Part of General Order No. 3 encouraged the newly freed, formerly enslaved people to remain with their past owners.
“The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.”
Juneteenth Day has been celebrated under many names.
Some of the names are; Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, and Cel-Liberation Day, Second Independence Day, and Emancipation Day to name just a few.
The Emancipation Park in Houston, Texas was bought specifically to celebrate Juneteenth.
The 10-acre parcel of land was purchased by former slaves, Richard Allen, Richard Brock, Jack Yates, and Elias Dibble for $800 in 1872.
During the early 20th-century Juneteenth celebrations faced a declined.
The enactment of Jim Crow laws restricted and dampened the celebration of freedom. Additionally, the Great Depression forced many black farming families away from rural areas and into urban environments in search of work; resulting in difficulty taking the day off to celebrate.
However, the celebration of Juneteenth was revived during the civil rights movement.
The Poor People’s March planned by Martin Luther King Jr. was deliberately scheduled to coincide with the date. March participants took the celebrations back to their home states and soon the holiday was reborn again.
The Celebrations of Juneteenth continue today.
Celebration Traditions include public readings of the Emancipation Proclamation; singing traditional songs, and reading of works by noted African American writers. Celebrations have also taken the form of; rodeos, street fairs, cookouts, family reunions, park parties, historical reenactments, and Miss Juneteenth contests.
- On June 17, 2021, Democrat President Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, which officially made Juneteenth a federal holiday.This latest holiday is the first holiday to be approved since President Ronald Reagan signed a 1983 bill that approved Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a federal holiday.
South Dakota is the only state that never legally recognized Juneteenth.
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