Today’s History Lesson

What I’ve wondered at the last several weeks since I realized it on my own, is that this year marked the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation taking effect on January 1, 1863.  That was the day (some) slaves in the U.S. were made free.  Yet I haven’t seen or heard one word about it being 150 years this year, let alone a celebration of it.

I know Juneteenth (June 19) is the preferred day for annual celebration of the end of slavery.  So maybe people are waiting until then?  Only about a month away now though, and still nothing.

Of course Juneteenth celebrates when the slaves in Texas were informed of their freedom by the Union army, which was in 1865 not 1863.  (Historians suspect Texas slaveholders knew of the proclamation and chose not to free their slaves until they were forced to.)  So, it all gets muddy.

Especially when you look into it, and find out slavery was not made federally illegal in the U.S. until December 6, 1865 when the 13th amendment to the constitution was ratified.  It was on that date any remaining U.S. slaves became free.

So maybe the big 150 year celebration will be in 2015?  We already missed the opportunity for Jan 1, 2013.

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