This week Congress passed and the President signed into law a bill makes June 19th (aka Juneteenth) a federal holiday.  Forget that its 156 years too late.  This is a move to recognize not just the injustice of slavery in America but also the significant contribution that African Americans have made to the democratic and economic development of our country.  June 19th 1865 is the day when the last African American slaves in the United States were finally freed by the Union Army in Texas during the Civil War.

Since the Emancipation Proclamation, evil men have sought to rekindle slavery in America. It started with the compromised election of Harrison and end of Reconstruction, progressed through a host of Jim Crow laws, and even this week, 14 GOP representatives voted against this long due holiday but justice and equality always win in the long game. This is a small token but a step toward the promise that “all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights….

You may feel its time to forgive those who perpetuated slavery in America but we must NEVER FORGET and never again allow it to sully our shores in any form.

Published by Michael Carver

My goal is to bring history alive through interactive portrayal of ordinary American life in the late 18th Century (1750—1799) My persona are: Journeyman Brewer; Cordwainer (leather tradesman but not cobbler), Statesman and Orator; Chandler (candle and soap maker); Gentleman Scientist; and, Soldier in either the British Regular Army, the Centennial Army, or one of the various Militia. Let me help you experience history 1st hand!

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  1. Your absolutely right but Maryland and Delaware did not secede so the Emancipation Proclamation (a tactic of war) didn’t apply to them only to the Confederacy. I fully agree that we should be celebrating the 13 Amendment or something similar but unfortunately even that didn’t change the situation for most former slaves and they will continue to live in a form of slavery or another 100 years (an argument could be made that the behavior of those 13 GOP Congressmen who voted no is a perpetuation of same sick racial attitudes as late as 2021!).

    Like most politics, declaring Juneteenth a holiday doesn’t really change anything. As we strive for that “more perfect union” we have and continue to fail on many counts. I really hope that in my lifetime something will change and to a very superficial degree it has but the work continues.

    “It is not your duty to finish the work, but neither are you at liberty to neglect it” — Rabbi Tarfon (Pirkei Avot 2:16)

    Every step in the right direction helps mitigate but not excuse the wrongs of the past. If we have enough small steps toward a better world maybe people will give up pulling us back into the darkness.

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  2. Hi Michael, Slaves in Delaware and Maryland weren’t officially freed until the ratification of the 13th amendment 3 months later. The emancipation proclamation allowed border states to keep their slaves. December 6, 1865 should be the day of the national holiday, not June 19th. That is when all slaves were officially “freed”. We cannot begin to truly rectify the atrocity of slavery until the country understands exactly what the emancipation proclamation and 13th amendments were and accomplished. They both were developed over very different reasons and often confused with each other. Celebrating Juneteenth should not be a thing before celebrating the passing of the 13th amendment. Ignorance, whether purposeful or not, is a big reason we are having so many issues in our country today. Why is this not being brought to the surface? Thoughts? – Frank Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

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  3. I hate to be a strict Constitutionalist but Article II provides no power to the President to make laws of any sort. Yes, he has broad powers as Commander in Chief but Congress is intended to make all binding laws. Sure, Presidents like Trump and Truman have argued that the Constitution doesn’t prohibit them from making such acts (except, of course, Amendment 10 that reserves all powers not explicitly granted to the Federal Government as reserved to the States or the People) but that is not the same thing.

    The President is intended to make laws by influencing, and coercing if necessary, the Congress into action. Presidential Orders are easily overturned by later administrations. Acts of Congress can only be overturned by another Act of Congress or a ruling by the Supreme Court. It part of the Checks and Balances.

    Obama didn’t get this done because Congress was unwilling.

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