National Association of Juneteeth Lineage California, Inc.
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Ending of Civil War observed across the nation; holiday in 36 states
June 19 has gone down in history because of the General Order in Galveston, TX which ended slavery in Texas. However, it can also be accurately described as the real end of the Civil War. Most historians consider Lee's surrender at Appomattox Court House in Virginia as the conclusion of the war. However, Texas was the last state to actually be captured by the Union Army on June 19.
U.S. Colored Troops participated in the capture of Texas, including the 62nd Regiment, U.S. Colored Infantry, a unit of Missouri volunteers which arrived in Texas in September 1864 and remained until 1866. The 62nd had 118 soldiers killed wounded and missiing in a battle in May 1865 at Palmetto Ranch. Soldiers from this unit later helped found Lincoln University in Jefferson City, MO, as a result of fanatical attention to literacy that they gained while in the Union Army.
The 81st Colored Infantry Regiment, composed of Iowa volunteers, also arrived in August 1864 and remained through 1866. For many African-American entrepreneurs, Juneteenth means their own personal emancipation as they leverage the popular celebrations to build a clientele for their businesses. Juneteenth events are a good place to identify vendors whom one can patronize during the 31 Ways, 31 Days approach of National Black Business Month in August. Visit the 31Ways, 31 Days link for specific suggestions for each day of August. On the August 31 link, you can find other African-American themed cultural festivals around the country including the National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta, the African World Festivals in Milwaukee and Detroit and The African Marketplace in Los Angeles.
Since Texas Rep. Al Edwards had the day declared a state holiday in Texas, the observance has gained official status in 36 states, according to the Juneteenth National Foundation.
On Friday, June 4, one of the oldest observances outside of Texas, the 60th annual San Francisco Juneteenth holds its Mary Helen Rogers Community and Media Kickoff at San Francisco City Hall.
On June 19, African Burial Ground National Monument in New York City will make the day with a special talk by Dr. Joy DeGruy on the history and significance of Juneteenth at 11 a.m.