June 19th Juneteenth Day

The American Civil War had little, and everything, to do with slavery. Slavery became a cause, not of the war, but for those who both wanted the war to continue and those who wanted it to stop. No man should ever be another slave, but in the mid 1800’s it was a way of life.

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Most soldiers on either side of the conflict knew much about slavery. In the north, the industrialization no longer required such cheap labor (In fact, many slaves in the south earned more than freedmen in the north). The average Confederate soldier could not afford slaves. So neither side had first hand dealings with slavery, regardless of the stories told.

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It was a political situation and things were not going well for the north. So on September 22, 1862 Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation interestingly freeing the slaves in only the states he no longer had control over. It was an effort to keep England out of the war and from siding with the south. (England had already outlawed slavery). It worked. I am quite sure Lincoln had the best of intentions ending slavery but it is not why he made the proclamation.

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No doubt if Lincoln had lived he would have made slavery illegal in the U.S. but when he died, it was only the law of the land in the south. He avoided nation wide because Kentucky, Missouri and Tennessee could have left the Union if he had freed slaves countrywide.

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Freedom came when General Gordon Granger marched into Galveston, Texas on June 19th, 1965 officially ending the war. The 13th Amendment freeing all the slaves came on January 31st, 1865 declared by Congress.

How to celebrate – Learn more about slavery in America. Learn more about the Civil War in America. Celebrate freedom.

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April 30th National Honesty Day

Don’t you wish today could come more than once a year? Well probably not, most of us don’t always want to hear the truth, even if it’s best for us. So why should we expect to hear it from anyone else? Yes, it would be nice but there are probably lots of things we don’t really want to know the truth about.

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The justice system is supposed to operate on the premise of truth. Well, this doesn’t always happen. We have to weave our way through all the lies to determine what is true! And when we find out, we so often are not all that better for it.

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I mean, if the sky was falling would you really want to know about it? What would you do? Get under something? The chances are that if the sky was falling the last thing you would need to worry about would be that it was! That would simply mean, everything else has gone wrong!

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And look at what happened to Abe! What did he get for being honest? Though I do believe that he and M. Hirsh Goldberg may have been the last two honest politicians on the face of the earth. So who is M. Hirsh Goldberg? Well he is the man who created the day back in the 1990’s. He was the press secretary to the Governor of Maryland back then. He believe there should be at least one day a year when everyone was honest.

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But really, the question is with ourselves. Are we honest to ourselves? We cannot hide anything from God, or whomever you may believe in. So you might as well be honest there even if you aren’t with yourself. Can you handle the truth!?! Try it out today and see.

How to celebrate – Don’t tell a single lie today. Try and read who is lying to you and who is telling the truth. Go back to bed and don’t worry about it!

February 12th Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday

Today is Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, February 12th, 1809. He is truly one of the greatest Presidents we have ever had, though if you study history it may not be for what you think he should be remembered for. He held this country together at a time when it could easily have fallen apart and led a nation through the bloodiest wars it has ever seen.

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A young Lincoln did not have a very joyful life. He worked hard, studied and bettered himself on his way to becoming the President. His one true love died before he could marry her and he settled in with a woman that was just as depressed as he was.

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Becoming President, he found himself in control of a divided union that would have most likely succumbed with anyone else in charge. The issues were purely economical and the rights of the states over the rights of the Federal government. It was a war that the south could never win but the union could easily lose.

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Though Lincoln is probably best known for the Emancipation Proclaimation it too was not what the history books often show it to be. Lincoln was anti-slavery, but slavery was only a rally call for the war. The Proclaimation was written to keep England and France out of the war, siding with the Confederacy. Since slavery was abolished in those countries, and somewhat now in the north, those countries could not very well help the Confederacy. The only slaves freed by the Proclamation were those in the states Lincoln had no control over.

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No doubt Lincoln would have freed all the slaves had he lived long enough.  John Wilkes Booth saw to it that he did not have the opportunity. On April 14th, Good Friday, Booth assasinated Lincoln at Ford’s Theater.

How to celebrate – Read more about Lincoln and learn the truth of his Presidency. Make a cake for Lincoln, but don’t expect him to show up to eat it. Learn the real causes of the Civil War.

June 25th National Log Cabin Day

The only thing the settlers found plenty of when they first arrived in America were trees. Naturally, needing shelter from the cold and storms, they used these trees to build homes for themselves.

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They weren’t very elaborate, the windows had no glass and normally there was a constant breeze blowing through them, but they were home to many and became a part of the American heritage.

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Eventually glass windows were added and the holes were patched up by mud or other materials to keep the wind out. Outhouses were built instead of using the closest tree (Normally not all that close after using them to build the house.) Entire towns grew out of log cabins and some of the most famous American’s were born and raised in these makeshift dwellings.

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Today they can be quite elaborate. In fact, places like Disney’s Fort Wilderness Hotel is built to resemble the log cabins of yesterday but do not leave out a single creature comfort.

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Log Cabin Day was created by Virginia Handy and the Bad Axe Historical Society on June 25th, 1986 to honor a part of American history.

How to celebrate – Build your own log cabin, perhaps out of Lincoln Logs if you can find them. Visit one of the original log cabins, many of which are still standing after a hundred years or more. Visit Disney’s Fort Wilderness.

February 12th Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday

Today is Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, the 16th president of the Untied States, better known as “Honest Abe”. Born in Kentucky, 1809, Lincoln lived an interesting life before he became president.

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He educated himself, did practically every job there was, led military units in the Black Hawk War (Though they never saw action) and loved a woman (Ann Rutledge) who died before he could marry her.

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He never truly wanted to run for president but allowed himself to be talked into it. He was opposed to war but found himself leading a nation during the Civil War. He was opposed to slavery but initially did not fight to remove it, hoping to keep the states together. To keep England, and the rest of Europe, out of the war he wrote the Emancipation Proclamation freeing the slaves only in the states rebelling. (It was later proclaimed slaves should be free n every state)

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He gave perhaps the greatest speech ever given, the Gettysburg Address lasting a little over two minutes after Edward Everett had spoken for over 2 hours (Which was the fashion of the day). Lincoln thought his speech was a failure when no one in the audience responded. He had actually left them speechless.

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Sadly Lincoln was killed by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theatre on April 14th, 1865. As president he did a lot of good, he also made mistakes. Whether he was a great president or not is open to opinion . No doubt he did he bast he could considering the circumstances and was, no doubt, the right man at the right time.

How to celebrate – Read a book about Lincoln. Watch a movie about Lincoln. Get a opy of the Gettysburg Address.