Skip to comments.Celebrating Juneteenth
Posted on 06/20/2006 2:58:35 AM PDT by RWR8189
Today, Americans celebrate "Juneteenth" - when in 1865 slavery finally ended throughout the entire United States. Sadly, few people know that Juneteenth was a high water mark for African- Americans. Soon after that great day, the Democratic Party defeated the Reconstruction policies of the Republican Party, postponing the civil rights movement until the 1950s.
An important fact which most history books ignore is that Abraham Lincoln's 1864 running mate was a Democrat, Andrew Johnson of Tennessee. And so after Lincoln's assassination, it was a Democrat who would be President of the United States for the first four years after the Civil War. That first President Johnson did all in his power to prevent African- Americans from experiencing Lincoln's "new birth of freedom."
It was in Texas where slavery finally ended. On June 19, 1865, U.S. troops commanded by General Gordon Granger landed at Galveston and brought some important news that the Democrats running the state had refused to tell their slaves, that they had been legally freed more than two years before by the Emancipation Proclamation. Granger's famous General Order Number 3 read: "The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and free laborer."
General Granger then traveled around Texas to inform the African-Americans, still being held as slaves by their Democrat masters, that they were in fact free. Granger was a zealous advocate for full civil rights for African-Americans. Too zealous, it turned out, for President Andrew Johnson. On August 6, 1865, just seven weeks after his arrival, President Johnson relieved Granger from command in Texas. That same month, Johnson removed all African-Americans serving in the U.S. Army occupation forces.
Any officer in the U.S. Army who exerted himself too much in defense of African-Americans was out of a job. For this reason, Johnson dismissed the conscientious Phil Sheridan, who had sent General Granger to Galveston, from command in Texas and Louisiana. Sheridan's replacement was General Winfield Hancock, who then allowed white supremacist thugs a free hand. So impressed were former rebels with the performance of Hancock that he would receive the support of the Solid South when he became the Democratic Party's presidential candidate in 1880.
President Andrew Johnson campaigned against ratification of the 14th Amendment and vetoed the Republicans' Civil Rights Act of 1866. It was he who quashed Republican attempts to provide "forty acres and a mule" to emancipated African-Americans. Andrew Johnson vetoed a bill to extend voting rights to African-Americans in the District of Columbia, saying he wanted a completely "white man's government." And in Johnson's racist mind, the civil rights hero Frederick Douglass was "a damned scoundrel."
Southern Democrats (the former Confederate rebels and President Johnson) exercised almost complete control over the post-Civil War South for two years after Appomattox. The Democrat state governments set up by the Andrew Johnson administration quickly reduced African-Americans to near slavery with the infamous "black codes." Not until March 1867, when they attained two-thirds majorities in Congress, were Republicans able to override Johnson's vetoes and enact their Reconstruction policies, beginning with the Reconstruction Act of 1867.
Unfortunately, the two-year delay before the onset of Republican Reconstruction had enabled the Democrats to strengthen their grip on power and on African-Americans in the South. As soon as they were back in power in the southern states, Democrats closed down most of the public school system that Republican administrations had established for African-Americans as well as poor whites. Democrat terrorist organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan and the Knights of the White Camellia denied African-Americans their right to vote. In the South, where dozens of African-Americans had held elective office while Republicans were in power at the state level, the restoration of Democrat rule meant the exclusion of African-Americans from politics for nearly a century.
Who was Lincoln's VP in 1960? Why was he dumped?
I wonder if Pelosi and Reid will be celebrating this great day for black Americans and the Democratic Party...uh, well, for black Americans?
Sorry, but I don't know anybody who "celebrated" yesterday. Tomorrow, June 21, more importantly, is motorcycle Ride To Work Day.
The assassination of Lincoln was a disaster that changed the course of history in America. We still haven't recovered from it.
Affirmative action is an over-correction for the racism that was allowed to prevail after the civil war.
I believe that Lincoln, had he lived, would have made a big difference in the lives of African Americans and, as a result, our society today.
To me, it's an example of a single event changing history.
Somehow I think freeing slaves is a little more important.
Lincoln's 1860 running mate was Hannibal Hamlin, former Senator from Maine. Lincoln had him replaced in 1864 with Andrew Johnson to appeal to pro-war Democrats. Johnson, a former Democrat Governor of Tennessee, was the only southern Senator to stay with the Union rather than go with the Confederacy. Lincoln then made him Military Governor of Tennesse.
Though Hamlin may have been mediocre, he at least was a solid Republican and would have been a far better President than a Democrat, Andrew Johnson.
I've said this before and I still mean it 110%.
Thank God my ancestors were brought to this nation, whether in chains or otherwise. Why? because thanks to them I can claim the honor of being a Citizen of the United States of America and I have far mor opportunities and chances for a better life than I ever would have had in West Africa.
Besides, as Friedrich Nietzsche observed, that which does not kill us can only strengthen us. As a people we survived the middle passage, slavery, Jim Crow, etc. and we're still thriving. In a way its made us a stronger people.
Apparently, you aren't aware of the fact that Lincoln's idea was to send the ex-slaves back to Africa. That would have solved the race problem in America, all right. US Blacks would have had the pleasure of being in their African homelands all these years.
Sponsor or promote would be a more appropriate verb here than send.
The return was never planned as anything other than voluntary. The logistics, not to mention the lack of interest among black Americans, doomed the plan from the beginning.
I wish more people no matter what their history would appreciate the opportunities this great nation provides.
Too many people never manage to get ahead because they are always looking backwards.
"Republicans, freeing people from the Democrat plantation since 1863."
Some of us are hermits. Others of us only see illegals.
But when true Americans celebrate, must we pretend they don't exist?
You're correct -- but RTW is the 3rd Wednesday of July. This year, it's July 19.