Historically antislavery movement was very strong, but the struggle with government took many decades or even centuries. The main goal of those efforts was a great desire of freedom and equal rights. In America slaves got their long-expected freedom in the 19th century. Thus, the day is annually celebrated in the USA. When is Juneteenth in 2017? What special occasions are observed on the day?
Going back to the history
Antislavery proclamation didn’t cover all the states. From 1863 the Emancipation Proclamation stated all the slaves free but only in 5 states. Four states weren’t involved into a struggle. They were Missouri, Delaware, Maryland and Kentucky. Some more states became excluded from the influence of the Emancipation Declaration signed in 1862, on September 22.
During the Civil War the common amount of slaves in Texas increased greatly. It’s explained by the geographical distance of the state from the antislavery struggle. The Proclamation didn’t affect Texas, thus, people who had slaves move to that district with them. They wanted to save their property and wealth. Slaves found the way out. Lots of people had to escape from their owners and became free in five states which were under the influence of the Emancipation Proclamation. People settled mostly in Texas rural territories.
Until 1865 the state wasn’t freed. Almost 250 thousand slaves lived in Texas in 1865 when the Union troops came to those lands and occupied them. It was on the 18th of June. The next day G.Granger, the General of Union Army read Order №3 about the liberation of slaves. The 19th of June is Freedom Day in some states of America, especially in Texas. It’s no need to ask “What is the date of Juneteenth 2017 in Texas?”
The contents of the law admitted that people shouldn’t leave homes and territories. They became the hired people. Their owners had to pay salary to their workers. All the American people were proclaimed equal in their rights. The government stated the need to work for all people. They didn’t have support in idleness. The main rule of living was to work and be free.
The total acceptance of the Proclamation wasn’t immediate because for many years whites made military stalemate against their former slaves. Nevertheless, in Texas the victorious people started a tradition of celebration of the day in June. For that time it was only a custom but not an official holiday.
In Texas former slaves used to cooperate and purchase some territories in central city parks. Thus, Austin, Mexia and Houston got their Emancipation Parks where people celebrated their liberation. The legal acceptance of the day took place in a period of 1868–1874.
In the beginning of the 20th century the period of decline of black people’s equality started. Whites accepted a number of laws which initiated the exclusion of blacks from the social and political affairs. They became the second-class people. In the first half of the 20th century Freedom Day wasn’t almost celebrated because of a bad financial situation in the USA. Blacks had to live their homes in order to find a better place for living and working. They had no time to think about celebrations. It hadn’t been greatly celebrated till the 1980s.
Freedom Day was recognized as a national holiday in almost all the states in 2016 in May. When is Juneteenth 2017? It’s on the 19th of June.
Main facts about the day
Juneteenth isn’t federally accepted, though it is an observance at 42 American states and DC. It is called as Juneteenth there. Some interesting facts about the day must be known to understand the core of it:
- Texas doesn’t just observe the date. The territory has a state holiday. Its name is Emancipation Day.
- The holiday has its own flag consisting of two horizontal parts, blue and red. In the memory of the first freed from slavery states a star with 5 angles was put in the center of the colour. There is a big star with 12 points around the small one.
- People in Texas even have a special drink made during the celebration. It’s called Big Red soda. It’s citrus beverage with or without sugar.
- The name of the holiday is a combination of the month and day of the blacks’ emancipation in Texas.
- It’s considered that the real idea of emancipation was to free blacks and to engage them to Union troops. The former slaves were discriminated even when they became Union soldiers. Nevertheless, the amount of Lincoln’s army increased greatly.
- Houston’s Emancipation Park cost eight hundred dollars to former slaves. They paid such amount of money to create a commemoration place. It was in the 80s of the 19th century.
- If you ask Americans what day Juneteenth in 2017 is, the answer will be “On Monday”.
The ways of celebration
The governments of Texas and Oklahoma give days-off to their citizens. Other US states just observe the day. Usually it’s a working day in the post offices, stores and organizations though they may be fully-opened. There may be some changes in the work of transport. If there is a great public event in a city, the traffic may be bounded.
Local authorities make a great amount of public events on the day. Texas inhabitants like to attend different sport occasions, such as baseball competitions. Rodeo has gained a special love of the Texans, so there are lots of rodeo locations on Emancipation Day.
People who don’t work usually prefer to gather in the parks and make picnics with their friends and relatives. Local authorities often propose festive dinners in the cities. In the evening young people make parties.
Except active rest, people attend various exhibitions and lectures in order to know key-points from the history of the USA. Educational establishments also take part in the observance of the day. The youth is proposed to participate in essay competitions devoted to the Freedom Day. Lots of souvenirs are made for the date’s observance. If you write “When is Juneteenth in 2017, calendar of events” in the internet, you’ll get complete information about its observance.