History Patriotism

Juneteenth

As of June 17, 2021, President Biden signed legislation making “Juneteenth” (June 19th) America’s most recent official holiday.

What is it? Why is it important? Where did it come from?

Here is an explanation from President Biden, who learns how to pronounce “Juneteenth” during his explanation:

“Juneteenth marks the day when American Military Leader, Ulysses S. Grant and his Federal Troops arrived in Galveston, Texas in 1865 to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people be freed,” marking the end of the Civil War, and slavery in America.

The History of Juneteenth

In 1807, Thomas Jefferson signed a law “banning importation of enslaved people from Africa”. “The Republican Party was formed in 1854 after the Democrats voted to protect and to extend slavery.” It wouldn’t be until 1861 when the Civil War finally broke out, resulting in the ending slavery nationwide in 1865. In Galveston, Democrats passed “Black Codes” to prohibit African Americans from voting, holding office, and serving on juries.

In 1865, legislation was signed, adding the 13th Amendment to our Constitution. Not a single Democrat voted in favor of the 13th Amendment.

13th Amendment

Section 1: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

Section 2: “Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”

The 13th Amendment

Juneteenth started off as “Liberation Day” occurring on June 19th, which began as a celebration marking the year after emancipation. Juneteenth symbolizes freedom and independence for previously enslaved African Americans and Black Americans. In 1979 Texas became the first state to officially recognize “Juneteenth”. President Biden would then make it a Federal Holiday (to distract Americans from his lack of control over foreign policy.)

Juneteenth Flag

This strangely designed flag, was chosen to be used to celebrate Juneteenth, and was created by [white] artist Ben Haith, and edited by artist Lisa Jeanne Graf [also white]. It has become the official flag of Juneteenth.

Juneteenth in Modern Times

Juneteenth is another iteration of Patriotism, and gets more people involved in the pride of America, making our nation’s integrity stronger. The more our country is celebrated the better.

Ulysses S. Grant: American Hero

Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th President, Republican, and America’s first Four-Star General, is responsible for ending the Civil War. Grant fought in the Mexican-American War from 1846 – 1848.

During the Civil War, Grant was given full command over all the U.S. Army, finally pushing Confederate General Robert E. Lee to a full surrender. Ulysses S. Grant is responsible for the end of the Civil War, the emancipation of American Slaves, and the day that would ultimately become celebrated as “Juneteenth”.

In 1870, Grant signed legislation adding the 15th Amendment to the Constitution, granting African Americans and Black Americans the right to vote, and preventing hate groups like the KKK from interfering with their freedom to vote.

After his two Presidential terms, Grant moved to the Upper East Side of New York, where he lived, until he was eventually diagnosed with throat cancer in 1884. He died at age 63 in 1885. That year, his friend Mark Twain published his memoirs, which was a success.

“In every battle there comes a time when both sides consider themselves beaten. Then he who continues the attack wins.” said Grant.

Department of Justice: 1870

Also in 1870, Grant signed legislation which established the Department of Justice, representing the enforcement of laws in the interests of the citizens of the United States, and also providing protection against violence.

$50 Bill: 1913-1914

During the years 1913-1914, Ulysses S. Grant was first printed on a $50 Gold Certificate [1913] and the U.S. $50 Federal Reserve Note [1914]

The Surrender of General Robert E. Lee

Whether viewed as a pure Villain or a Symbol of the potential of Human Reform, Robert E. Lee, was an American Confederate General, who commanded the southern army during the Civil War. In an effort to avoid more American casualties, he surrendered the entire confederacy to the Union in 1865, effectively ending the Civil War, and American Slavery.

Ulysses S. Grant (left) ends the Civil War, as Robert E. Lee (right) surrenders

In 1907, President Theodore Roosevelt made a public statement about General Robert Lee for having “extraordinary skill as a General, his dauntless courage and high leadership,” adding, “He stood that hardest of all strains, the strain of bearing himself well through the gray evening of failure; and therefore out of what seemed failure he helped to build the wonderful and mighty triumph of our national life, in which all his countrymen, north and south, share.”

The Wrong Side of History

General Lee’s father was Major General Henry Lee III, known as “Light-Horse Harry”, who helped George Washington in 1794 during the Whiskey Rebellion. He even spoke at Washington’s funeral quoted stating Washington was “first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen”.

Henry Lee III was born on his Father’s [Henry Lee II] Plantation called “Leesylvania” in 1756. Robert E. Lee, would be born in 1807 and was also born on a Plantation. Robert E. Lee was literally “born into and raised on the principles of slavery”, as was his father. He was more concerned with Military Tactics, and attempting to be the most effective General possible—than he was at choosing a political stance. Being born into the Confederacy among Southern Democrats, it wasn’t until 1865 when he was forced to finally choose between his family upbringing, and what he later found to be considered “wrong”. General Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant in 1865.

General Lee fought for Democrats, and by all means the wrong side during the Civil War. A quote from General Lee, brings insight into his perspective on humanity: “You must endeavour to enjoy the pleasure of doing good. That is all that makes life valuable.—When I measure my own by that standard I am filled with confusion and despair.” After war Civil War ended, Robert E. Lee’s American rights were revoked, permanently denying him the right to vote, and he lost his family’s home. In 1868 President Andrew Johnson granted pardon to confederate troops, excluding General Robert E. Lee. After the war, in 1866 General Lee encouraged southerners to cease fighting and went on the become President of Washington College (Washington and Lee University) from 1865-1870. On July 22 1975, General Robert E. Lee was granted a [posthumous] full pardon by President Gerald Ford.

Around the world, many Americans are attempting to “edit” history by removing statues and changing the names of buildings. Not only is history unchangeable, but gives insight into the regret and despair from the effects of fighting for the wrong side. The statues are reminders that America is a country that was not founded on “canceling” bad ideas, but fighting to reform negativity—reminders of history. The alternative, continue to erase history, and relive many of the same historical disparities and devastations, in different ways. After all, history is prone to repetition. The greatest way to learn from human history is with physical examples or at the least, documentation of its existence.

Robert E. Lee statues are being removed across America.

Statues are created to signify monumental pivotal moments in History. This does not suggest sympathizing with slave-owners. Robert E. Lee, was born into an evil ideology, followed his father into the American military, became General, reformed his thinking, and surrendered, ending slavery in America. General Lee adhered to his evolved belief system after the Civil War by routinely giving speeches in the south, against slavery. His statue represents not only the cessation of racism, but the fact that people don’t have to die to wake up and stop being racist. Violence is not the answer to racial equality.

A descendant of Robert E. Lee, disagrees. Just last month, the 4th nephew of General Lee, (named Robert W. Lee) issued a statement to news reporters in regards to “Lee High-school”. Robert W. Lee stated “I am totally against all of these names on these buildings that celebrate confederate heroes including my ancestor,” Lee said. Strangely enough, he has the exact same first and last name, Robert Lee, which he has chosen to not change—yet he is more concerned with a High-school.

In America, racism, is now a reminder of our country’s past horrors, and the evolution of our nation. Propagated by social media, many of America’s “woke” claim white Americans are still “racist” no matter what they do. Ulysses S. Grant brought physical change that allowed the integration of our multi-racial nation. Robert E. Lee demonstrated reformed thinking and reminds us the horrors of defending racially discriminative thinking.

Happy Juneteenth!

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