Today, June 19, is celebrated as Juneteenth, they day that, in 1865, at the end of the Civil War, Union troops under the command of Major General Gordon Granger occupied Galveston, Texas, and Granger told the slaves of Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of 1863, which ended slavery; it was only then that the slaves were informed about the Proclamation ending their slavery-their owners made sure they never heard about it. From then on, Juneteenth is proclaimed in the African-American community as its Independence Day. ( http://www.juneteenth.com/history.htm)

On June 16, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney signed a proclamation declaring Juneteenth a City holiday. (https://www.phila.gov/2020-06-16-juneteenth-is-an-official-city-holiday/) Recent episodes around the continuing racial strife in the United States have brought Juneteenth back into public consciousness, along with questions about which historic figures should be honored with statues, such as Confederate leaders like Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee, and how they should be remembered. These individuals attempted to destroy the United States and form their own country, simply to perpetuate the ownership of one race over another. Let’s take the time to learn the real history our country, so we can better deal with our contemporary problems.

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