What does June 15th mean to you?
It’s the feast day of St. Vitus in Germany, the patron saint of comedians, dancers and Sicilians.
King John of England begrudgingly signed the Magna Cara on this day in 1215.
Margaret Jones became the first person executed in Massachusetts for witch craft in 1648.
Benjamin Franklin tied a key to a kite and discovered that lightning contained electricity in 1752.
The modern cork-centered baseball was patented in 1909 and rubber was patented in 1844.
It’s the birthday for silent-screen star Harry Langdon in 1884.
First settlers arrived in Idaho in 1911 and this date is commemorated as Pioneer Day, a state Holiday.
The first Women’s Suffrage congress opened on this date in 1913.
Former New York governor Mario Cuomo was born in 1932.
Actor Jim Belushi was born in 1951.
What is June-Teenth?
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.