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.

american-civil-war-toy-soldiers-2017

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.

nastemancipation

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.

images (1)

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.

download

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.

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.

images-1

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.

25-facts-about-abraham-lincoln

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)

lincolns_gettysburg_address_gettysburg

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.

abraham-lincoln-assassination

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.