Robert Reich just issued a STUNNING call to action:


It is now time to seriously consider the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, which provides for removal of a president who is 'unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office'

WOW!! We couldn’t agree more!

As scandal continues to engulf the Trump administration, impeachment is our only option to save our Democracy from Trump’s lies and treason.

If you agree with Robert Reich that Trump MUST be removed from office, sign your name right away:

I agree with Robert Reich >>

So far, Trump has used his power to completely dismantle Obama’s legacy and the values our country was built on.

He’s attacked the rights of vulnerable communities, introduced a healthcare plan that would leave millions without insurance, and proposed major cuts to programs like Medicaid and Social Security.

We’ve had ENOUGH.

It’s clear that Donald Trump doesn’t care about the American people — he’s more concerned with checking boxes on an extremist backwards agenda.

That’s why Robert Reich is taking a stand and demanding IMPEACHMENT when we need it most.

If you agree that Trump’s actions warrant immediate impeachment, sign our petition right away:

http://go.boldpac.com/Robert-Reich

BOLD Democrats

a message and petition by The Humane League


Petitioning CKE Restaurants, Jason Marker, Brad Haley, Jeff Chasney, John J. Dunion, Theodore Abajian, Michael D’Arezzo, Jim Sullivan, Reese Stewart, Arlene Petokas, David Luxton

Hardee’s & Carl’s Jr. – Demand better from your chicken suppliers!

Petition by The Humane League
17,421
Supporters
Chickens raised for Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. suffer some of the worst abuses on overcrowded factory farms.

These birds spend their short six weeks of life packed by the tens of thousands inside barren, windowless sheds. Bred to grow grotesquely large at an unnaturally fast rate, they often suffer painful, crippling leg injuries. Due to physical ailments and lack of space, many spend the majority of their lives lying in their own excrement on the filthy barn floor, suffering from toxic ammonia burns to their feet, chest, and lungs. At slaughter, chickens are violently shackled, electrocuted, and slit at their throats, many while still fully conscious.

Such irresponsible and inhumane conditions are not what you’d expect from restaurant chains that pride themselves on high food quality, but they’re the sad reality for chickens raised for Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s. Such extreme animal abuse is not “premium quality” – customers and animals deserve better!

Fortunately, there is momentum to reform this abusive industry. Restaurants such as Shake Shack, Burger King, and Chipotle have joined over a dozen other major food companies that have released comprehensive, meaningful commitments to address the welfare concerns facing chickens raised for meat. Why are Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. refusing to commit to the same standards?

It’s time for Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. to make a change. Please sign this petition demanding that the leadership at CKE Restaurants (Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr.parent company) commit to a strong welfare policy that grants chickens more space and environmental enrichments, a transition to higher-welfare breeds of birds, and the elimination of live-shackle slaughter methods.

 

Indigenous Earth Defenders Threatened for Protecting the Forests. Take Action!


Our Shipibo friend Robert is receiving death threats for his advocacy against the deforestation caused by the oil palm industry in the Peruvian Amazon. Several of his colleagues have been assassinated under similar circumstances. Can you take a minute to help defend him and other threatened leaders?

DEFEND THREATENED SHIPIBO LEADERS!

This emblematic fight for the rainforest is playing itself out right now in the Peruvian Amazon – the world’s largest tropical rainforest and a critical element to mitigating climate change. In the face of the threats against them, the Shipibo leaders are demanding that the Peruvian government take effective action to ensure that the death threats and defamation campaigns don’t result in attacks or killings.

If Earth Defenders aren’t protected, the consequences can be dire. In 2014, four Asháninka leaders, including internationally-known Edwin Chota, were assassinated for fighting against deforestation, demanding land rights, and protecting our climate.

Join us in sending messages to the Peruvian government in support of Shipibo leaders like Robert.

the senate June 12 – 15 **CONGRESS** 2017 the house


Wrap Up 6/16/2017 Roll Call Votes Adoption of Gardner SA #250, as modified (NASA); agreed to: 94-6. Adoption of Graham SA #240 (NATO); agreed to: 100-0. Passage of S.722, as amended (Iran-Russia Sanctions); passed: 98-2.   Legislative Business Passed Calendar #122, S.782, to reauthorize the National Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Program, and for other purposes.  …

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Wrap Up 6/15/2017 Roll Call Votes Adoption of Gardner SA #250, as modified (NASA); agreed to: 94-6. Adoption of Graham SA #240 (NATO); agreed to: 100-0. Passage of S.722, as amended (Iran-Russia Sanctions); passed: 98-2.   Legislative Business Passed Calendar #122, S.782, to reauthorize the National Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Program, and for other purposes.  MORE

Wrap Up 6/14/2017 Roll Call Votes Adoption of amendment #232, as modified (Russia sanctions); agreed to: 97-2.   Legislative Business Passed by voice vote S.1083 with House amendment, Merit Systems Protection Board.   No Executive Business MORE

Wrap Up 6/13/2017 Roll Call Votes Motion to discharge SFRC from further consideration of S.J.Res.42 (Saudi arms deal disapproval); not agreed to: 47-53.   Legislative Business Passed Calendar #92, S.831: to designate the facility of the US Postal Service in Canonsburg, PA, as “Police Officer Scott Bashioum Post Office Building”.   No Executive Business MORE

Wrap Up 6/12/2017 Roll Call Votes Confirmation of Kenneth P. Rapuano to be Assistant Secretary of Defense; confirmed: 95-1.   Legislative Business Adopted S.Res.190, honoring the memory of the victims of the terrorist attack on the Pulse Orlando nightclub one year ago.   No Executive Business MORE

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Last Floor Action: 6/16/2017
9:32:56 A.M. – The Speaker announced that the House do now adjourn pursuant to a previous special order. The next meeting is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. on June 20, 2017.

9:30:16 A.M. The House convened, starting a new legislative day.
9:30:25 A.M. The Speaker designated the Honorable Michael K. Simpson to act as Speaker pro tempore for today.
9:30:54 A.M. Today’s prayer was offered by the House Chaplain, Rev. Patrick J. Conroy.
9:32:02 A.M. The Speaker announced approval of the Journal. Pursuant to clause 1, rule I, the Journal stands approved.
9:32:05 A.M. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE – The Chair led the House in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
9:32:06 A.M. The House received a message from the Clerk. Pursuant to the permission granted in Clause 2(h) of Rule II of the Rules of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Clerk notified the House that she had received the following message from the Secretary of the Senate on June 15, 2017 at 3:10 p.m.: That the Senate passed S. 722.
9:32:56 A.M. The Speaker announced that the House do now adjourn pursuant to a previous special order. The next meeting is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. on June 20, 2017.

House Activity 6/15/2017

10:00:16 A.M. The House convened, starting a new legislative day.
10:00:26 A.M. The Speaker designated the Honorable Gregg Harper to act as Speaker pro tempore for today.
10:00:54 A.M. MORNING-HOUR DEBATE – The House proceeded with Morning-Hour Debate. At the conclusion of Morning-Hour, the House will recess until 12:00 p.m. for the start of legislative business.
10:35:31 A.M. The Speaker announced that the House do now recess. The next meeting is scheduled for 12:00 P.M. today.
12:00:55 P.M. The House convened, returning from a recess continuing the legislative day of June 15.
12:01:59 P.M. Today’s prayer was offered by the House Chaplain, Rev. Patrick J. Conroy.
12:03:43 P.M. The Speaker announced approval of the Journal. Pursuant to clause 1, rule I, the Journal stands approved.
12:03:45 P.M. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE – The Chair designated Mr. Crawford to lead the Members in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
12:04:06 P.M. ONE MINUTE SPEECHES – The House proceeded with one minute speeches which by direction of the Chair, would be limited to 15 per side of the aisle.
12:13:25 P.M. The House received a message from the Clerk. Pursuant to the permission granted in Clause 2(h) of Rule II of the Rules of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Clerk notified the House that she had received the following message from the Secretary of the Senate on June 15, 2017, at 9:13 a.m.: That the Senate agreed to the House amendment to S. 1083.
12:13:42 P.M. H. Res. 379 Considered as privileged matter. H. Res. 379 — “Providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 2372) to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to clarify the rules relating to veteran health insurance and eligibility for the premium tax credit, and providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 2579) to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow the premium tax credit with respect to unsubsidized COBRA continuation coverage.”
12:15:41 P.M. H. Res. 379 DEBATE – The House proceeded with one hour of debate on H. Res. 379.
12:26:22 P.M. H. Res. 379 The previous question was ordered without objection.
12:26:27 P.M. H. Res. 379 On agreeing to the resolution Agreed to by voice vote.
12:26:36 P.M. H. Res. 379 Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.
12:29:54 P.M. H.R. 2372 Considered under the provisions of rule H. Res. 379. H.R. 2372 — “To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to clarify the rules relating to veteran health insurance and eligibility for the premium tax credit.”
12:29:59 P.M. H.R. 2372 Rule provides for consideration of H.R. 2372 and H.R. 2579, with 1 hour of general debate for each bill. Previous question shall be considered as ordered without intervening motions except a motion to recommit with or without instructions on each bill. Both measures will be considered read and are closed to amendments.
12:31:13 P.M. H.R. 2372 DEBATE – The House proceeded with one hour of debate on H.R. 2372.
12:58:07 P.M. H.R. 2372 The previous question was ordered pursuant to the rule.
12:58:54 P.M. H.R. 2372 On passage Passed by voice vote.
12:59:53 P.M. H.R. 2579 Considered under the provisions of rule H. Res. 379. H.R. 2579 — “To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow the premium tax credit with respect to unsubsidized COBRA continuation coverage.”
12:59:58 P.M. H.R. 2579 Rule provides for consideration of H.R. 2372 and H.R. 2579, with 1 hour of general debate for each bill. Previous question shall be considered as ordered without intervening motions except a motion to recommit with or without instructions on each bill. Both measures will be considered read and are closed to amendments.
1:00:38 P.M. H.R. 2579 DEBATE – The House proceeded with one hour of debate on H.R. 2579.
1:10:37 P.M. H.R. 2579 The previous question was ordered pursuant to the rule.
1:41:40 P.M. H.R. 2579 On passage Passed by the Yeas and Nays: 267 – 144 (Roll no. 308).
1:41:43 P.M. H.R. 2579 Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.
1:41:45 P.M. H.R. 2372 Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.
1:42:35 P.M. H. Res. 385 Mr. McCarthy asked unanimous consent to consider as introduced.
1:42:35 P.M. H. Res. 385 Considered by unanimous consent. H. Res. 385 — “Expressing gratitude for the heroic actions of the United States Capitol Police and other first responders in the attack on Members of Congress on June 14, 2017, and expressing hope for a full recovery for the injured.”
1:46:03 P.M. H. Res. 385 On agreeing to the resolution Agreed to by voice vote.
1:46:07 P.M. H. Res. 385 Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.
1:51:33 P.M. COLLOQUY ON HOUSE SCHEDULE – The Chair recognized Mr. Hoyer for the purpose of engaging in a colloquy with Mr. McCarthy on the expectations regarding the legislative schedule for the House for next week.
2:03:20 P.M. Mr. McCarthy asked unanimous consent that the gentleman from Texas, Mr. Doggett, may be recognized on the legislative day of Wednesday, June 21, 2017, to offer the resolution that he noticed on Tuesday, June 13, 2017, without further notice under clause 2(a)(1) of rule IX. Agreed to without objection.
2:03:29 P.M. Mr. McCarthy asked unanimous consent that when the House adjourns today, it adjourn to meet at 9:30 a.m. on June 16. Agreed to without objection.
2:03:31 P.M. Mr. McCarthy asked unanimous consent That, when the House adjourns on Friday, June 16, 2017, it adjourn to meet on Tuesday, June 20, 2017, when it shall convene at noon for morning-hour debate and 2 p.m. for legislative business. Agreed to without objection.
2:04:02 P.M. ONE MINUTE SPEECHES – The House proceeded with further one minute speeches.
2:26:07 P.M. Mr. Payne moved that the House do now adjourn.
2:26:17 P.M. On motion to adjourn Agreed to by voice vote.
2:26:18 P.M. The House adjourned pursuant to a previous special order. The next meeting is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on June 16, 2017.

House Activity 6/14/2017

10:00:04 A.M. The House convened, starting a new legislative day.
10:00:19 A.M. The Speaker designated the Honorable George Holding to act as Speaker pro tempore for today.
10:01:00 A.M. The Speaker announced that the House do now recess. The next meeting is scheduled for 12:00 P.M. today.
12:00:47 P.M. The House convened, returning from a recess continuing the legislative day of June 14.
12:14:54 P.M. Today’s prayer was offered by the House Chaplain, Rev. Patrick J. Conroy.
12:17:38 P.M. The Speaker announced approval of the Journal. Pursuant to clause 1, rule I, the Journal stands approved.
12:17:41 P.M. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE – The Chair led the House in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
12:18:26 P.M. The Speaker and Democratic Leader addressed the House to speak about the tragedy that occurred in Alexandria, VA.
12:31:15 P.M. The House received a message from the Clerk. Pursuant to the permission granted in Clause 2(h) of Rule II of the Rules of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Clerk notified the House that she received the following message from the Secretary of the Senate on June 14, 2017 at 9:24 a.m.: that the Senate passed S. 831
12:32:00 P.M. Mr. McHenry moved that the House do now adjourn.
12:32:15 P.M. On motion to adjourn Agreed to by voice vote.
12:32:39 P.M. The House adjourned. The next meeting is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on June 15, 2017.

House Activity 6/13/2017

10:00:06 A.M. The House convened, starting a new legislative day.
10:00:15 A.M. The Speaker designated the Honorable James Comer to act as Speaker pro tempore for today.
10:00:41 A.M. MORNING-HOUR DEBATE – The House proceeded with Morning-Hour Debate. At the conclusion of Morning-Hour, the House will recess until 12:00 p.m. for the start of legislative business.
10:55:32 A.M. The Speaker announced that the House do now recess. The next meeting is scheduled for 12:00 P.M. today.
12:00:02 P.M. The House convened, returning from a recess continuing the legislative day of June 13.
12:00:04 P.M. Today’s prayer was offered by Rev. M. Davies Kirkland, Dulin United Methodist Church, Falls Church, VA
12:01:39 P.M. SPEAKER’S APPROVAL OF THE JOURNAL – The Chair announced that he had examined the Journal of the last day’s proceedings and had approved it. Mr. Wilson (SC) demanded that the question be put on agreeing to the Speaker’s approval of the Journal and by voice vote, the Chair announced that the ayes had prevailed. Mr. Wilson (SC) demanded the yeas and nays and the Chair postponed further proceedings on the question of the Speaker’s approval of the Journal until later in the legislative day.
12:02:15 P.M. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE – The Chair designated Mr. Wilson of SC to lead the Members in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
12:03:57 P.M. ONE MINUTE SPEECHES – The House proceeded with one minute speeches, which by direction of the Chair, would be limited to 15 per side of the aisle.
12:18:45 P.M. The House received a message from the Clerk. Pursuant to the permission granted in Clause 2(h) of Rule II of the Rules of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Clerk notified the House that she had received the following message from the Secretary of the Senate on June 13, 2017 at 11:23 a.m.: Appointment: Alyce Spotted Bear and Walter Soboleff Commission on Native Children.
12:18:45 P.M. The House received a communication from the Honorable Jason Chaffetz. Mr. Chaffetz submitted his resignation as Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. The resignation was accepted without objection.
12:19:45 P.M. H. Res. 381 Considered as privileged matter. H. Res. 381 — “Electing Members to certain standing committees of the House of Representatives.”
12:20:34 P.M. H. Res. 381 On agreeing to the resolution Agreed to without objection.
12:20:40 P.M. H. Res. 381 Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.
12:20:41 P.M. H. Res. 378 Considered as privileged matter. H. Res. 378 — “Providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 2581) to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to require the provision of social security numbers as a condition of receiving the health insurance premium tax credit, and providing for consideration of the bill (S. 1094) to amend title 38, United States Code, to improve the accountability of employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes.”
12:22:38 P.M. H. Res. 378 DEBATE – The House proceeded with one hour of debate on H. Res. 378.
1:22:00 P.M. H. Res. 378 On ordering the previous question Agreed to by the Yeas and Nays: 229 – 189 (Roll no. 302).
1:28:39 P.M. H. Res. 378 On agreeing to the resolution Agreed to by recorded vote: 229 – 190 (Roll no. 303).
1:28:42 P.M. H. Res. 378 Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.
1:28:47 P.M. UNFINISHED BUSINESS – The Chair announced that the unfinished business was the vote on the Speaker’s Approval of the Journal.
1:35:33 P.M. On approving the Journal Agreed to by the Yeas and Nays: 238 – 166, 2 Present (Roll no. 304).
1:37:24 P.M. H.R. 2581 Considered under the provisions of rule H. Res. 378. H.R. 2581 — “To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to require the provision of social security numbers as a condition of receiving the health insurance premium tax credit.”
1:37:29 P.M. H.R. 2581 Rule provides for consideration of H.R. 2581 and S. 1094, with 1 hour of general debate for each bill. Previous question shall be considered as ordered without intervening motions except a motion to recommit with or without instructions on H.R. 2581, and a motion to commit on S. 1094. Both measures will be considered read and are closed to amendments.
1:39:51 P.M. H.R. 2581 DEBATE – The House proceeded with one hour of debate on H.R. 2581.
2:29:55 P.M. H.R. 2581 Ms. Sanchez moved to recommit with instructions to the Committee on Ways and Means.
2:30:12 P.M. H.R. 2581 DEBATE – The House proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the Sanchez motion to recommit with instructions. The instructions contained in the motion seek to report the same back to the House forthwith with an amendment to add an exemption to the underlying bill for newborn children who are less than one year of age.
2:36:06 P.M. H.R. 2581 The previous question on the motion to recommit with instructions was ordered without objection.
2:36:20 P.M. H.R. 2581 POSTPONED PROCEEDINGS – At the conclusion of debate on the Sanchez motion to recommit with instructions, Chair put the question on adoption of the motion to recommit and by voice vote announced that the noes had prevailed. Ms. Sanchez demanded the yeas and nays, and the Chair postponed further proceedings on the question of adoption of the motion to recommit with instructions until later in the later legislative day.
2:37:36 P.M. S. 1094 Considered under the provisions of rule H. Res. 378. S. 1094 — “To amend title 38, United States Code, to improve the accountability of employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes.”
2:37:41 P.M. S. 1094 Rule provides for consideration of H.R. 2581 and S. 1094, with 1 hour of general debate for each bill. Previous question shall be considered as ordered without intervening motions except a motion to recommit with or without instructions on H.R. 2581, and a motion to commit on S. 1094. Both measures will be considered read and are closed to amendments.
2:37:57 P.M. S. 1094 DEBATE – The House proceeded with one hour of debate on S. 1094.
3:36:48 P.M. S. 1094 The previous question was ordered pursuant to the rule.
3:37:03 P.M. S. 1094 POSTPONED PROCEEDINGS – At the conclusion of debate on S. 1094, the Chair put the question on passage and by voice vote announced that the ayes had prevailed. Mr. Roe (TN) demanded the yeas and nays, and the Chair postponed further proceedings on passage of S. 1094 until later in the legislative day.
3:37:41 P.M. UNFINISHED BUSINESS – The Chair announced that the unfinished business was the question on adoption of the Sanchez motion to recommit with instructions and passage of H.R. 2581, and passage of S. 1094, both of which had been debated earlier and on which further proceedings had been postponed.
3:38:00 P.M. H.R. 2581 Considered as unfinished business. H.R. 2581 — “To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to require the provision of social security numbers as a condition of receiving the health insurance premium tax credit.”
4:04:23 P.M. H.R. 2581 On motion to recommit with instructions Failed by the Yeas and Nays: 193 – 231 (Roll no. 305).
4:11:29 P.M. H.R. 2581 On passage Passed by recorded vote: 238 – 184 (Roll no. 306).
4:11:30 P.M. H.R. 2581 Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.
4:13:08 P.M. NOTIFICATION OF INTENT TO OFFER RESOLUTION – Mr. Doggett notified the House of his intent to rise to a point of privilege pursuant to clause 2(a)(1) of rule IX, and to offer a privileged resolution. The Chair subsequently announced that under rule IX, a resolution offer from the floor by a Member other than the Majority Leader or the Minority Leader as a question of the privileges of the House has immediate precedence only at a time designated by the Chair within 2 legislative days after the resolution is properly noticed. The Chair further announced that it would not, at that point, make the determination required by the rule.
4:24:46 P.M. UNFINISHED BUSINESS – The Chair announced that the unfinished business was on passage of S. 1094, which was debated earlier and on which further proceedings had been postponed.
4:25:32 P.M. S. 1094 Considered as unfinished business. S. 1094 — “To amend title 38, United States Code, to improve the accountability of employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes.”
4:36:05 P.M. S. 1094 On passage Passed by the Yeas and Nays: 368 – 55 (Roll no. 307).
4:36:06 P.M. S. 1094 Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.
4:36:54 P.M. ONE MINUTE SPEECHES – The House proceeded with further one minute speeches.
4:49:06 P.M. The Speaker laid before the House a message from the President transmitting a notification of the continuance of the emergency with respect to Belarus – referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs and ordered to be printed (H. Doc. 115-47).
4:50:55 P.M. SPECIAL ORDER SPEECHES – The House has concluded all anticipated legislative business and has proceeded to Special Order speeches.
5:46:47 P.M. Mr. Burgess filed a report from the Committee on Rules on H. Res. 382.
5:47:24 P.M. SPECIAL ORDER SPEECHES – The House resumed Special Order speeches.
6:23:01 P.M. Mr. Gohmert moved that the House do now adjourn.
6:23:03 P.M. On motion to adjourn Agreed to by voice vote.
6:23:04 P.M. The House adjourned. The next meeting is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on June 14, 2017.

 

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JUNETEENTH is coming – make your plans !!!


© JUNETEENTH.com

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.

Later attempts to explain this two and a half year delay in the receipt of this important news have yielded several versions that have been handed down through the years. Often told is the story of a messenger who was murdered on his way to Texas with the news of freedom. Another, is that the news was deliberately withheld by the enslavers to maintain the labor force on the plantations. And still another, is that federal troops actually waited for the slave owners to reap the benefits of one last cotton harvest before going to Texas to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation. All of which, or neither of these version could be true. Certainly, for some, President Lincoln’s authority over the rebellious states was in question For whatever the reasons, conditions in Texas remained status quo well beyond what was statutory.

General Order Number 3

One of General Granger’s first orders of business was to read to the people of Texas, General Order Number 3 which began most significantly with:

“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.”

The reactions to this profound news ranged from pure shock to immediate jubilation. While many lingered to learn of this new employer to employee relationship, many left before these offers were completely off the lips of their former ‘masters’ – attesting to the varying conditions on the plantations and the realization of freedom. Even with nowhere to go, many felt that leaving the plantation would be their first grasp of freedom. North was a logical destination and for many it represented true freedom, while the desire to reach family members in neighboring states drove the some into Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma. Settling into these new areas as free men and women brought on new realities and the challenges of establishing a heretofore non-existent status for black people in America. Recounting the memories of that great day in June of 1865 and its festivities would serve as motivation as well as a release from the growing pressures encountered in their new territory. The celebration of June 19th was coined “Juneteenth” and grew with more participation from descendants. The Juneteenth celebration was a time for reassuring each other, for praying and for gathering remaining family members. Juneteenth continued to be highly revered in Texas decades later, with many former slaves and descendants making an annual pilgrimage back to Galveston on this date.

Juneteenth Festivities and Food

A range of activities were provided to entertain the masses, many of which continue in tradition today. Rodeos, fishing, barbecuing and baseball are just a few of the typical Juneteenth activities you may witness today. Juneteenth almost always focused on education and self improvement. Thus, often guest speakers are brought in and the elders are called upon to recount the events of the past. Prayer services were also a major part of these celebrations.

Certain foods became popular and subsequently synonymous with Juneteenth celebrations such as strawberry soda-pop. More traditional and just as popular was the barbecuing, through which Juneteenth participants could share in the spirit and aromas that their ancestors – the newly emancipated African Americans, would have experienced during their ceremonies. Hence, the barbecue pit is often established as the center of attention at Juneteenth celebrations.

Food was abundant because everyone prepared a special dish. Meats such as lamb, pork and beef which not available everyday were brought on this special occasion. A true Juneteenth celebrations left visitors well satisfied and with enough conversation to last until the next.

Dress was also an important element in early Juneteenth customs and is often still taken seriously, particularly by the direct descendants who can make the connection to this tradition’s roots. During slavery there were laws on the books in many areas that prohibited or limited the dressing of the enslaved. During the initial days of the emancipation celebrations, there are accounts of former slaves tossing their ragged garments into the creeks and rivers to adorn clothing taken from the plantations belonging to their former ‘masters’.

Juneteenth and Society

In the early years, little interest existed outside the African American community in participation in the celebrations. In some cases, there was outwardly exhibited resistance by barring the use of public property for the festivities. Most of the festivities found themselves out in rural areas around rivers and creeks that could provide for additional activities such as fishing, horseback riding and barbecues. Often the church grounds was the site for such activities. Eventually, as African Americans became land owners, land was donated and dedicated for these festivities. One of the earliest documented land purchases in the name of Juneteenth was organized by Rev. Jack Yates. This fund-raising effort yielded $1000 and the purchase of Emancipation Park in Houston, Texas. In Mexia, the local Juneteenth organization purchased Booker T. Washington Park, which had become the Juneteenth celebration site in 1898. There are accounts of Juneteenth activities being interrupted and halted by white landowners demanding that their laborers return to work. However, it seems most allowed their workers the day off and some even made donations of food and money. For decades these annual celebrations flourished, growing continuously with each passing year. In Booker T. Washington Park, as many as 20,000 African Americans once flowed through during the course of a week, making the celebration one of the state’s largest.

Juneteenth Celebrations Decline

Economic and cultural forces provided for a decline in Juneteenth activities and participants beginning in the early 1900’s. Classroom and textbook education in lieu of traditional home and family-taught practices stifled the interest of the youth due to less emphasis and detail on the activities of former slaves. Classroom text books proclaimed Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863 as the date signaling the ending of slavery – and little or nothing on the impact of General Granger’s arrival on June 19th.

The Depression forced many people off the farms and into the cities to find work. In these urban environments, employers were less eager to grant leaves to celebrate this date. Thus, unless June 19th fell on a weekend or holiday, there were very few participants available. July 4th was the already established Independence holiday and a rise in patriotism steered more toward this celebration.

Resurgence

The Civil Rights movement of the 50’s and 60’s yielded both positive and negative results for the Juneteenth celebrations. While it pulled many of the African American youth away and into the struggle for racial equality, many linked these struggles to the historical struggles of their ancestors. This was evidenced by student demonstrators involved in the Atlanta civil rights campaign in the early 1960’s, whom wore Juneteenth freedom buttons. Again in 1968, Juneteenth received another strong resurgence through Poor Peoples March to Washington D.C.. Rev. Ralph Abernathy’s call for people of all races, creeds, economic levels and professions to come to Washington to show support for the poor. Many of these attendees returned home and initiated Juneteenth celebrations in areas previously absent of such activity. In fact, two of the largest Juneteenth celebrations founded after this March are now held in Milwaukee and Minneapolis.

Texas Blazes the Trail

On January 1, 1980, Juneteenth became an official state holiday through the efforts of Al Edwards, an African American state legislator. The successful passage of this bill marked Juneteenth as the first emancipation celebration granted official state recognition. Edwards has since actively sought to spread the observance of Juneteenth all across America.

Juneteenth In Modern Times

Today, Juneteenth is enjoying a phenomenal growth rate within communities and organizations throughout the country. Institutions such as the Smithsonian, the Henry Ford Museum and others have begun sponsoring Juneteenth-centered activities. In recent years, a number of local and national Juneteenth organizations have arisen to take their place along side older organizations – all with the mission to promote and cultivate knowledge and appreciation of African American history and culture.

Juneteenth today, celebrates African American freedom and achievement, while encouraging continuous self-development and respect for all cultures. As it takes on a more national, symbolic and even global perspective, the events of 1865 in Texas are not forgotten, for all of the roots tie back to this fertile soil from which a national day of pride is growing.

The future of Juneteenth looks bright as the number of cities and states creating Juneteenth committees continues to increase. Respect and appreciation for all of our differences grow out of exposure and working together. Getting involved and supporting Juneteenth celebrations creates new bonds of friendship and understanding among us. This indeed, brightens our future – and that is the Spirit of Juneteenth.

History of Juneteenth ©JUNETEENTH.com

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