On this date, in 1865 the slaves of Galveston Texas were informed that they were free, based on the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 and the occupation by Union troops. They were the last to be informed and thus the celebration of Juneteenth was started. It was recognized in several states but was not recognized as a federal holiday until 2021 when President Joe Biden signed a declaration on June 17th, 2021. In 1964 the Civil Rights Act was signed into law after surviving an 83-day filibuster. And the first Father’s Day was celebrated in Spokane, Washington in 1910.
Other events on this date include the establishment of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 1934, the first NASCAR race, held at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 1960, and the issuing of the 10 millionth patent in 2018.
French mathematician and physicist Blaise Pascal was born on this date in 1623. Canadian-American bandleader Guy Lombardo was born in 1902. The “Iron Horse” baseball great Lou Gehrig was born in 1903. And bluegrass guitar and mandolin musician Lester Flatt was born in 1914, along with Seattle rapper Macklemore in 1983.
Dying on this date were American Revolutionary general Nathaniel Greene (1788), the British creator of Peter Pan J.M. Barrie (1937), American film comedian Ed Wynn (1966), and Star Trek reboot Chekov – Anton Yelchin (2016).
This day is not only Juneteenth but also World Sickle Cell Day – a disease that disproportionately affects African Americans.