Lincoln may have signed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, but for the enslaved men and women in Texas, emancipation did not reach them until June 19, 1865.
Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas, with more than 2,000 Union troops. He announced General Order No. 3, which began “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.”
The 250,000 former slaves celebrated the news, and over the years it became an annual tradition with singing, barbeques, rodeos, and other festivities. On January 1, 1980, Juneteenth became an official state holiday in Texas.
This photograph was taken during this year’s 11 annual Juneteenth celebration at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Texas. The community event featured Elizabeth Kahura as the featured story teller.
-from the US National Archives
Today in history — FDR Approves the National Archives Act
On June 19, 1934, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed “An Act to establish a National Archives of the United States Government, and for other purposes.” Read more from Prologue Magazine.
Photo: An image of the construction of the National Archives Building is from June 1934, the month that President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law the National Archives Act.
Happy Birthday to Us!
Presidents in Berlin
Berlin has set the scene for some of the most memorable speeches delivered by U.S. Presidents in the modern era. Today, President Obama speaks at the Brandenburg Gate during his first state visit to the German capitol.
President Obama’s speech occurs 50 years to the month after JFK famously declared his solidarity with the people of Berlin. In June of 1987, Ronald Reagan stood at the Brandenburg Gate on the west side of the Berlin Wall and implored, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”
More at the Presidential Timeline
JFK In Ireland
President Obama spoke in Belfast, Northern Ireland at the G-8 Summit yesterday. Here is another Presidential visit to the area: John F. Kennedy’s motorcade passing by Cork, Ireland on June 28,1963.
For more on JFK and Ireland, check out the Kennedy Library website.
From the Kennedy Library
June 17, 1965. Astronauts Edward White (right) and James McDivitt (left) and their families arrive at the White House. After a ceremony that evening at the State Department, the President makes a surprise announcement that he is sending the astronauts and their wives to Paris for the Air Show—and that they’ll leave at 4am on the Presidential plane.
“After about a half an hour we gathered up Governor Dewey [of New York] and went back to the White House, still without dinner, and here began the funniest part of this crescendo of a day. When the astronauts’ wives came in, I took them back to my office-dressing room and opened up the closet where my evening dresses hang, because what does any woman think about when she hears she’s going to Paris—clothes!”
After a “fashion show” to select the evening gowns they’ll borrow and bring to Paris, Lady Bird also arranges for laundry, noting that their visitors been traveling for several days, and asks the kitchen to prepare dinner for a “starving, bewildered Governor Dewey.”
LBJ Library image A684-17A, public domain. Lady Bird quote from A White House Diary, New York: Dell Books, 1971, pg 317-318.
The First Raising of the 49-Star Flag
In honor of Flag Day, here’s the program cover of the First Raising of the 49-Star Flag after Alaska gained statehood.
Many people mistakenly believe that the first raising of the new 49 and 50-star flags took place at the White House with President Eisenhower. In fact, they took place at Fort McHenry with Secretary of the Interior Fred Seaton presiding on July 4, 1959.
Take a look at the complete program from the Eisenhower Library.
Happy Flag Day!
Happy Early Father’s Day!
Harry sitting in the back yard of his home at 219 North Delaware Street with his daughter, Margaret. 6/27/45.
This photo was taken during Harry Truman’s first visit back to Independence, Missouri after becoming President.
-from the Truman Library
On this day in 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson nominated Solicitor General Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American to sit on the Supreme Court.
Born in Baltimore, Maryland, the future civil rights leader originally intended to study at nearby the University of Maryland School of Law, however, it remained segregated.
Instead, Marshall attended Howard University School of Law. Shortly after graduating, Marshall successfully challenged the segregated University of Maryland in Murray v. Pearson. Read More
Marshall remained on the Court until 1991.
Photo: President Lyndon B. Johnson meeting with Thurgood Marshall shortly before announcing Marshall’s nomination to the Supreme Court, June 13, 1967.