Both the Senate (by unanimous consent) and the House of Representatives approved a bill making June 19th a federal holiday.
Fourteen Republicans voted against the bill in the House. There should have been more.
This isn’t because we shouldn’t celebrate liberty and emancipation. On the contrary. A case could easily be made that such a celebration should have happened decades ago.
Slavery in all forms is incompatible with liberty.
But June 19th should not be the date for such a celebration. Nor should we ignore the impact of other types of slavery to this day.
Hereditary slavery did not end in the United States until December 6, 1865, the ratification date of the 13th Amendment. Slave auctions continued in Kentucky through November 1865, five months after slavery supposedly ended on June 19th, 1865.
If the last slaves were told they were free on June 19th, then what about slaves sold into slavery AFTER that point? Would be news to them.
Delaware, Kentucky, and New Jersey (all slave States in 1865) rejected the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, and slavery was legal in each State until December, six months after June 19th, 1865.
By the way, Delaware, Kentucky, and New Jersey were technically all UNION States during the War, though Kentucky was a special case and could be considered a Confederate State as well. Only Mississippi rejected the 13th Amendment from the former Confederate States.
That means THREE Union States and only one Confederate State rejected the amendment that ended slavery after the War. So much for the theory that the Union fought the war to free the slaves, even after Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863.
This new federal holiday should be labeled “A National Day of Historical Ignorance.”
I discuss the issue on Episode 463 of The Brion McClanahan Show.