The following two paragraphs are courtesy of Juneteenth.com:
Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation – which had become official January 1, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on the Texans due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new Executive Order. However, with the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865, and the arrival of General Granger’s regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance.
Later attempts to explain this two and a half year delay in the receipt of this important news have yielded several versions that have been handed down through the years. Often told is the story of a messenger who was murdered on his way to Texas with the news of freedom. Another, is that the news was deliberately withheld by the enslavers to maintain the labor force on the plantations. And still another, is that federal troops actually waited for the slave owners to reap the benefits of one last cotton harvest before going to Texas to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation. All of which, or neither of these version could be true. Certainly, for some, President Lincoln's authority over the rebellious states was in question For whatever the reasons, conditions in Texas remained status quo well beyond what was statutory.
I celebrated my freedom (while I still can) by taking my AR to the desert to put it through it's paces. I had been having some issues with cycling, the bolt not staying open on the last round and magazines not seating. There were apparently two problems. One was simple: crappy magazines. DO NOT USE CHARLES DALY AR MAGS! They suck.
My other problem was that the shorty LE fixed buttstock I installed some time ago apparently did not have enough length for the bolt carrier to go all the way back. After leaving the desert disgusted I visited Bravo 6 Actual, my gunsmith who, after a thorough inspection, said that had to be the problem.
I went back home, removed the shorty A-2 buttstock and reinstalled the original collapsing carbine style buttstock
Then went back to the desert to try it out . It worked flawlessly, except when I tried to use a crappy magazine. I was soon joined by Ranger Rice of the BLM. He looked at my weapons and we conversed for a while then he was on his way, but not until I had wished him a Happy Juneteenth and explained it's significance.
And now more from Juneteenth.com
A range of activities were provided to entertain the masses, many of which continue in tradition today. Rodeos, fishing, barbecuing and baseball are just a few of the typical Juneteenth activities you may witness today. Juneteenth almost always focused on education and self improvement. Thus, often guest speakers are brought in and the elders are called upon to recount the events of the past. Prayer services were also a major part of these celebrations.
Certain foods became popular and subsequently synonymous with Juneteenth celebrations such as strawberry soda-pop. More traditional and just as popular was the barbecuing, through which Juneteenth participants could share in the spirit and aromas that their ancestors – the newly emancipated African Americans, would have experienced during their ceremonies. Hence, the barbecue pit is often established as the center of attention at Juneteenth celebrations.
Food was abundant because everyone prepared a special dish. Meats such as lamb, pork and beef which not available everyday were brought on this special occasion.
I went back home, satisfied that I could "do work", if need be, on the border with my rifle. I set about preparing a soul food Juneteenth supper. I bought some fried chicken on the way to the C1 compound. Upon arrival I threw some boudin on the grill, made my famous turnip greens and some spicy rice.
Any day is a good to to celebrate being free. But as Thomas Jefferson said, "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."
Strange and sad that on this day, 145 years after the slaves in Texas belatedly found out they had been freed, it seems at every turn a black man, and his blind followers of every color, are bent on enslaving us ALL.
WAKE UP AMERICA!