Donald Trump is now telling folks that thanks to him Americans are finally learning about Juneteenth:
Trump, who has few African-American advisers in the White House and in his Cabinet, told the Journal he “polled many people around him, none of whom had heard of Juneteenth.”
But, according to the report, the President also asked an aide during the interview whether she had heard of the holiday “and she pointed out that the White House had issued a statement last year commemorating the day.”
Trump didn’t seem to know that his White House had been putting out public statements commemorating the day throughout his tenure in office.
“Oh, really? We put out a statement? The Trump White House put out a statement?” Trump said, adding that that was “good.”
As the Ulysses S Grant captured the Mississippi the Eastern Texas portion of the Confederacy was cut off from news in the East. Slaves there did not hear the rumors of President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclomation which was a very technical and legal document that bent over backwards to avoid the soaring prose of the Declaration of Independence. That’s because Lincoln was threading a needle to hurt the pro south slave states without losing support in the pro north slave territory. The Proclamation announced the freedom of any slaves in the rebel held south.
Today on NPR there was a brief story about this followed by a reading much like their July 4th reading of the entire Declaration of Independence:
I was so delighted I grabbed my flag and hoisted it on my front porch.
As a matter of fact there was a vocal accompaniment to my raising of the flag – “Rally round the Flag”. Its a stirring song that kept Union troops on the march.