Celebration Week – Father’s Day and Juneteenth

This Ohio father is continuing to celebrate Father’s Day, two years after his wife delivered six, as shown above. But have you wondered about the origin of Father’s Day? On July 19, 1910 the governor of the state of Washington proclaimed the nation’s first “Father’s Day.” It was not until 1972, 58 years after President Woodrow Wilson made Mother’s Day official.

Mother’s Day started to celebrate peace-and-reconciliation campaigns of the post- Civil War era urged by activist Ann Reeves Jarvis of West Virginia and brought together the mothers of Confederate and Union soldiers. A year later, Sonora Smart Dodd, one of six children raised by a widower, tried to establish an official equivalent to Mother’s Day but did not have the same enthusiasm. That did not stop the effort and on July 19, 1910 the state of Washington celebrated the nation’s first statewide Father’s Day.

In 1972 President Richard Nixon signed a proclamation making Father’s Day a federal holiday. It is estimated that Americans spend more than $1 billion each year for Father’s Day gifts.

                                                              American Flags of Freedom

Written by: Janet Peters McCain 

This is the “how much do you know about your emancipation?” YEP! Your Emancipation!!!
1. What is the name of the recognized holiday in June? Hints also recognized as: a. Freedom Day b. Emancipation Day
2. Why is the day important?
3. This holiday is often recognized as a state holiday or state holiday observance in 41 states of the United States. Can you name the 41 States? I WILL GIVE YOU 3 ANSWERS…Georgia, Florida (Both Georgia and Florida Star readership areas) and Washington, DC
4. What State Observed the Holiday first?
5. What activities are available in the states who observe the Holiday?
Background: Even though Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862, with an effective date of January 1, 1863 many people did not understand the importance of how this affected slaves.

Lincoln’s (I will call him since it is now acceptable that we call our current President of the United States Obama, instead of the his respected title President Obama so we now have Lincoln) Emancipation Proclamation was the act that changed how business was done in America in 1863, 1864 or 1865 depending on when you got the information of the slave emancipation.

This is how Wikipedia describes the chain of events: (Taken from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juneteenth)

June 18 is the day Union General Gordon Granger and 2,000 federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, to take possession of the state and enforce the emancipation of its slaves. On June 19, 1865, legend has it while standing on the balcony of Galveston’s Ashton Villa, Granger read the contents of “General Order No. 3”: 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 of 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.

That day has since become known as Juneteenth, a name coming from a portmanteau of the words June and tenth like nineteenth and other numbers ending with – teenth.

Now for your answers:

1. Juneteenth
2. This day is important: See the paragraphs taken from Wikipedia above
3. The 41 states are: As of June 2011, 41 states[2] and the District of Columbia have recognized Juneteenth as either a state holiday or state holiday observance; these are Alabama, Alaska,[5] Arizona, Arkansas, California,[5] Colorado, Connecticut,[5] Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas,[3] Kentucky,[6][7] Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan,[8] Minnesota,[9] Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey,[5] New Mexico, New York,[5] North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas,[2] Vermont,[2] Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
4. What state was the first to observe this holiday? The state of Texas is widely considered the first U.S. state to begin Juneteenth celebrations with informal observances taking place for over a century; it has been an official state holiday since 1890. It is considered a “partial staffing holiday”, meaning that state offices do not close, but some employees will be using a floating holiday to take the day off. Schools are not closed, but most public schools in Texas are already into summer vacation by June 19th. Its observance has spread to many other states, with a few celebrations even taking place in other countries.
5. I can’t speak for the other State; but if you want to know about Florida and Georgia; check out your Florida and Georgia Star. We know what’s going on around town.

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