I haven’t quite caught up yet…

Jun 19, 2024 | 0 comments

Juneteenth Flag

I DID know it was Juneteenth today.  And I DO know what Juneteenth is all about!  And it’s about time it’s a holiday recognized by all of us and not just by a few folks in Texas or other parts of the old Confederacy.  The Oysterville Postmaster and I even talked about it yesterday and I told her to have a “lie-in”(as the Brits say) on her day-off day

But, like most other things of a day-to-day nature, the thought drifted off and, this morning,  when I realized it was Wednesday (read: Observer Day), off I went to pick up my mail.  Duh!  Of course, as soon as I realized that Tammy’s car wasn’t there and the flag wasn’t flying, I knew.  But did that prevent me from going inside to check my box?  For what??  Just in case the Paper Fairy brought our papers anyway???  Sheesh!

Copyright 1949 by W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.

For some reason, that whole episode made me think of a couple of footnotes in the textbook of my 1953 Western Civ class at Stanford.  One dealt with the number of “festival days in Rome in AD 165.”  By then the number had reached 135 or 2 to 3 holidays per week (although many were “optional” work days, whatever that meant.)  The other footnote I remember regardomg ancient Rome — there were 20,000 prostitutes in the city in its halcyon days.   (Of course, I had NO idea how that might have compared to the number in any modern city, but it seemed like “quite-a-many” to me!

As far as National Holidays go — we only have 11 to date.  Juneteenth is our most recent, made an official Federal Holiday in 2021 (though Texas has been celebrating it since 1980).  However, its  origins date back to June 19, 1865, when the last group of people enslaved in the southern U.S. were informed of their freedom under the Emancipation Proclamation  made by President Lincoln on January 1, 1863 and immediately enacted.  Except for the 250,000 enslaved people of Texas who didn’t get the news of their freedom for two-and-a-half years!!

Early Juneteenth Celebration

I have to say that the realization that we took so long to make this a National holiday made my going-to-the-post-office-lapse feel much worse than a Senior Moment.  More like a Major Crime.  I hope I’ll be around to make up for it next year!


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