St. Patrick’s Day
1. Honors Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, who died on March 17, around 492.
2. Celebrates the Irish
3. Cities all over celebrate with parades and festivities.
1. Celebrates the end of slavery and the culture and achievements of African Americans.
2. First recognized in Texas in 1979
3. Not widely known or celebrated across the country
Everyone likes a holiday, but some have greater meaning than others. Juneteeth celebrates Independence Day of the slaves. That is a deeply important event to celebrate for all members of society. Even though Abraham Lincoln gave the emancipation proclamation in 1863, it wasn’t until 1865 that it was enforced in Texas.
The holiday started on June 19th, 1865 in Texas when the last 200 slaves were freed. Texas made a speech to announce that the slaves had been freed and that it would now be a state holiday. Recognition of Juneteenth started in Texas but has spread to the other 49 states even though many don’t celebrate it or even know it exists.
The website juneteenth.com said, “ Juneteenth is an annual observance on June 19 to remember when Union soldiers enforced the Emancipation Proclamation and freed all remaining slaves in Texas on June 19, 1865. This day is an opportunity for people to celebrate freedom and equal rights in the United States.”
Most people know about St. Patrick’s day which celebrates the patron saint of Ireland, and Columbus Day which celebrates discovering a land that was already discovered. It is about time more people recognized and celebrated something as important as the human right of freedom finally being recognized by our government. We should go all out to celebrate freedom and equality.
Juneteenth is a national holiday on June 19th every year and represents the Freedom and Equality of the slaves. “A festival held annually on the nineteenth of June by African Americans (especially in the southern states), to commemorate emancipation from slavery in Texas on that day in 1865.” According to the government Library of Congress Blogs, “Although Juneteenth has been informally celebrated each year since 1865, it wasn’t until June 3, 1979, that Texas became the first state to proclaim Juneteenth an official state holiday”
The day is on the books, but Idaho doesn’t say much about it. Most people don’t even know it exists. It is not talked about in school; it’s not even in the curriculum for schools. Texas is the state where it is mostly celebrated. According to the website juneteenth.com “The four states that do not recognize Juneteenth are Hawaii, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana.” Perhaps the shame of slavery makes people want to ignore its existence, and making a big deal about this holiday makes them uncomfortable. It is past time to openly recognize this stain on our past, and fully celebrate freedom for all.
“Juneteenth today, celebrates African American freedom and achievement while encouraging continuous self-development and respect for all cultures.” People are not property. Equality for all is important. A holiday doesn’t get more American than that. Let’s really celebrate this year!