Juneteenth Texas

The Rev. Stephen Duncan, portraying Union Army Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger, prepares Friday to read General Order No. 3 declaring all slaves freed during the 41st annual Al Edwards’ Juneteenth Celebration at the 1859 Ashton Villa in Galveston.

Editor’s note: The Facts Editorial Board is not always able to reach consensus on topics, which is the case with debating whether Juneteenth should be a national holiday. We present both sides of the argument today.

Juneteenth, as it is affectionately called, is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of ending slavery in the United States. June 19 should come around each year with federal recognition.

Bobbie Greer is a longtime employee of The Facts, member of its editorial board and an occasional columnist.

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While I understand the feelings about Juneteenth, if we truly want a holiday to recognize the end of slavery, it should be on January 31. That was the day the 13th Amendment was passed - this amendment actually abolished slavery. I do think it would be beneficial to educate people on the Emancipation Proclamation, as it only freed slaves in the states currently in rebellion against the Union: "“All persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free." Under the Emancipation Proclamation there were still more than 1/2 million legal slaves in states such as Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland, Delaware, etc.

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