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It shocks me when people say they have not heard of this holiday in the year 2020, although I suppose I cannot say I am surprised. In my home state, it has been celebrated for forty years or more.

When I studied American History in high school 4 1/2 decades ago, I don't recall that appearing in the text. Here in Massachusetts, where slavery never existed, Longfellow's telling of "Midnight Ride of Paul Revere" ( and the "Shot Heard Around the World" fired by an "embattled farmer" at the Old North Bridge in Concord on 19 April 1775 (, giving rise both to the holiday known as Patriot's Day and to the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, drew far greater emphasis. For the record, the British Army was marching on Concord to confiscate an arms cache of the local militia. But, contrary to Longfellow's poetic license, we did learn that the "redcoats" actually apprehended Paul Revere before he made it to Concord -- but we also learned that he was NOT the only rider, and that it actually was a black rider named William Dawes who DID make to Concord to communicate the critical intelligence.

As for the only real question of the date, I really don't see it as a question. Juneteenth would have to be the holiday. To celebrate December 6, would be celebrating a statutory event, not the actual ending of slavery. It has to be the date that slavery **finally** ended, not just officially.

That was exactly the reasoning behind the suggestion that December 6th might be the more appropriate date for a holiday commemorating the end of slavery. "Juneteenth" commemorates the actual end of slavery in the last of the states that seceded from the union on 19 June 1865, thus giving the Emancipation Proclamation its full effect.

The nuance that you apparently are missing is that the Emancipation Proclamation abolished slavery only in the states that formally seceded from the union -- and thus excepted the two slave states that did not secede (Maryland and Delaware). Thus, slavery remained legal, and persisted, in both of those states until the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment abolished it nearly six months later, on 06 December 1865.

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