Juneteenth: Oldest Known U.S. Celebration for the End of Slavery
Juneteenth is the oldest known U.S. celebration of the end of slavery. Many African-Americans mark the anniversary much like the Fourth of July, with parties, picnics and gathering with family and friends. Here's a look at Juneteenth, also called Emancipation Day, by the numbers:
148 – Years since Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger first read the proclamation, General Orders, No. 3, in Galveston, Texas, notifying slaves of their emancipation, on June 19, 1865.
January 1, 1863 – Date President Abraham Lincoln issued the final Emancipation Proclamation, freeing slaves.
901 – Days in between the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation and General Orders, No. 3.
13th – Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that abolished slavery.
3,953,760 – Estimated number of slaves in the United States in 1860.
30.2 – Percentage of the population of Texas comprised of slaves, or "bondsmen," in 1860.
500,000 – Estimated number of free blacks in the United States in 1860.
According to Encyclopedia Britannica, about half were in the North and half were in the South.
15 – States where it was legal to have slaves before the Civil War: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.
42 – States with laws or resolutions celebrating Juneteenth.
January 1, 1980 – Juneteenth became a state holiday in Texas.
41,804,000 – African-Americans (one race alone or in combination) in the United States in 2009, according to the 2012 Statistical Abstract.
141 years – Age of the oldest Juneteenth celebration in the world, in Emancipation Park in Houston.
4 – Consecutive years President Barack Obama has issued a statement to mark Juneteenth: 2009 – 2012.
38 – Congressional co-sponsors of House Resolution 268, Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee's bill to "observe the historical significance of Juneteenth Independence Day," introduced in the House on June 17, 2013. It has been referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.