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Juneteenth is short for June Nineteenth, which marks the enforcement of the Emancipation Proclamation in Texas in 1865. It was Union General Gordon Granger who read General Orders No.3 stating that all slaves were free. Today, it commemorates the end of slavery in the United States and is also known as Freedom Day.
See the fact file below for more information on the Juneteenth or alternatively, you can download our 24-page Juneteenth worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- On January 1, 1863, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation at the height of the Civil War. On paper, slaves in Texas were free, but they were not aware of it. Texan slave owners kept the news to themselves, delaying emancipation of 250,000 slaves by another two years.
- There are several theories why such news was delayed, including the murder of the messenger and securing further cotton harvests from Texas.
- Other delayed news was the surrender of Confederate General Robert E. Lee at Appomattox Court, which was only heard more than two months after.
- In reality, Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation did not really free all slaves. It was only applicable to Confederate states, not in slave holding Border states.
END OF SLAVERY IN AMERICA
- On June 19, 1865, two and a half years after the passage of the Emancipation Proclamation, Union General Gordon Granger and his troops rode to Galveston, Texas, and enforced the end of slavery. General Order. 3 stated the following:
“The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights to property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere”.
- Despite Granger’s announcement, some slave owners deliberately suppressed the news and waited until the end of the cotton harvest season.
- Following the announcement was a time of “scatter”. Most freed slaves and their families left Texas and migrated to northern states to start a new life. They were not interested in working under their former owners despite the involvement of pay.
- A freed slave named Susan Merritt recalled that some slave owners were terribly unhappy about the announcement. Before legally freeing some slaves, they were beaten, lynched, and sometimes murdered.
FURTHER STRUGGLES AND CELEBRATION
- After a year, freed slaves conducted minimal celebration of Juneteenth because of growing segregation. Areas such as parks, business establishments, and schools were all segregated into white and colored areas. As a temporary remedy, all former slaves pooled $800 and bought 10 acres of land known to them as “Emancipation Park”, in 1872 until the 1950s. It became the only public park and swimming pool in Houston open to all African-Americans.
- In 2016, the renovated Emancipation Park was opened for Juneteenth celebrations in Houston, Texas.
- On January 1, 1980, Texas became the first state to declare Juneteenth as a holiday.
- The Juneteenth flag, designed by L.J. Graf, represents African-American history and their freedom. The bursting New Star stands for the state flag of Texas with new freedom and new people.
- The red, white, and blue colors remind that all African slaves and their descendants are Americans.
- During the Jim Crow era until the Civil Rights Movement, Juneteenth celebrations declined in popularity.
- Even though Juneteenth is not a federal holiday, states of Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South California, Texas, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and Washington D.C. celebrate this day.
- In many southern states, Juneteenth is celebrated with readings and oral history along with strawberry sodas and barbecues. Some serve Marcus Garvey salad to honor the black nationalist. In addition, over 200 cities across the United States host contests, parades, and concerts.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Juneteenth across 24 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Juneteenth worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Juneteenth which is short for June Nineteenth, which marks the enforcement of the Emancipation Proclamation in Texas in 1865. It was Union General Gordon Granger who read General Orders No.3 stating that all slaves were free. Today, it commemorates the end of slavery in the United States and is also known as Freedom Day.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Juneteenth Facts
- ‘Til the End of Slavery
- Lincoln and Emancipation
- Famous African-Americans
- Black History Milestones
- On the Map
- Freedom Hunt
- General Order No.3
- Emancipation Wall
- Why Celebrate?
- Essence of Juneteenth
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Juneteenth actually celebrating?
Juneteenth celebrates the day that enslaved people in Texas were told they were free. This happened on June 19, 1865.
Why is it called Juneteenth?
Juneteenth is a holiday that celebrates when slavery ended in America. Some people also call it Emancipation Day or Juneteenth Independence Day. The name “Juneteenth” comes from the month and day that the holiday happens, which is June 19th.
What does the Juneteenth symbol mean?
The Juneteenth flag has a star that is new and bursting on the horizon. The red, white, and blue colors show that American slaves and their descendants include everyone. This new star represents freedom for all people.
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Link will appear as Juneteenth Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, May 26, 2022
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.