Juneteenth: The Other Independence Day

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The flag from Fort Sumter, where the first shots of the Civil War were fired on April 12, 1861. The flag from Fort Sumter, where the first shots of the Civil War were fired on April 12, 1861. (Department of Interior, National Park Service Historic Photograph Collection, Harpers Ferry Center)

Ever since 1776, America has acknowledged the Fourth of July as our day of independence. But there’s another independence day — today, June 19 —that’s acknowledged by many others as our true day of freedom.

On this day in 1865, General Gordon Granger came to Galveston, Texas and issued General Order Number 3. The order came two and a half years after Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, and is recognized as the day that slavery came to an end in the United States.

While 41 states in the United States recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday, it’s never been recognized as a national holiday or day of observance. Rev. Ronald Myers Sr. has been fighting for years to change that. He’s the founder and chair of the National Juneteenth Holiday Campaign. 


Rev. Ronald Myers, M.D.

Produced by:

Kristen Meinzer

Comments [4]

Afro- American

It is something that was very monumental in the history of America, which is apart of all of our history. I do not understand why there is so much disdain for recognizing the release of captives, slaves, human beings in our own country. Seems very disrespectful and as if we still , as a country, have a lot more progress in terms of accepting everyone as an equal. We,all get the 4th of july off ... African Americans were not even considered fully human at the time! ha! I think we deserve a tad bit more respect, especially since we were brought here from out own countries.. lets honor , together!, as Americans, becoming better people by respecting one another. Peace,Love and Respect to everyone of every color and culture out there.

Jun. 19 2012 11:28 AM

I'd get rid of Mother's day and instead have us celebrate May 19, the day in 1919 that the 19th amendment gave US women right to vote. This would celebrate ALL women, not just the mommies.

Jun. 19 2012 09:00 AM
Matt from Detroit

I would propose that the first Tuesday of November, election day, be made a national holiday.

Jun. 19 2012 08:39 AM
Ed from Larchmont

A third independence day will be the day abortion is outlawed and no longer practiced in the U.S. Freedom from this horror, which is how slavery came to be viewed.

Jun. 19 2012 06:07 AM

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