Posts Tagged ‘Federal holidays’


June 20, 2022

(General Orders. Department of Texas June 19, 1865)

Today is officially “Juneteeth, Observed,” a federal holiday, but yesterday was the historical holiday. On June 19, 1865, Union general Gordon Granger sailed into Galveston and issued General Order Number 3, which began: “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.” This ended the legal institution of chattel slavery in the former Confederate States, two years after Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, 10 weeks after Appomattox.

Contrary to popular belief, Juneteenth didn’t end slavery in the United States. It still existed in states which hadn’t seceded from the Union, like Kentucky, New Jersey, and Delaware, until January 1, 1866, six months later, when the 13th Amendment became effective. Slavery among the tribes of Indian Territory (today’s Oklahoma) did not effectually end until August 1866.


“Juneteenth: Our Other Independence Day,” Kenneth C. Davis,

“Juneteenth,” Teresa Palomo Acosta, Handbook of Texas Online

“Juneteenth,” Stephanie Hall, Folklife Today

“What Is Juneteenth?” Henry Louis Gates, Jr., PBS

“Juneteenth,” Teresa Palomo Acosta, Handbook of Texas History

“The Historical Legacy of Juneteenth,” NMAAHC


“Freedmen’s Bureau,” Cecil Harper, Jr., Handbook of Texas History


“Juneteenth holiday marking the end of slavery becomes law after decades of inaction,” Seung Min Kim, Washington Post

“How the US Military Helped Create the Juneteenth Holiday,” Blake Stilwell,

“When Did Slavery Really End in the United States?” J. Gordon Hylton, Marquette University Law School Faculty Blog

“Here are the four myths of Juneteenth that are not based on facts,” John Burnett, NPR


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New National Holiday. Mark Your Calendar.

June 14, 2019

New National Holiday. Mark Your Calendar.

Every year the Office of Personnel Management prints a list of all official national holidays. Washington’s birthday, for example, is really February 22nd, but this year the Federal Government observed it on February 18th. Likewise, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday is actually January 15th, but the government observed it on January 21st.

The official 2019 federal calendar omitted a holiday, probably because OPM’s Acting Director Margaret Weichert is so busy directing OPM while also deputy-directing the Office of Management and Budget and everything. Luckily, a White House tweet corrected the record, so mark your calendar. Although Donald Trump’s birthday is June 14th, the nation will observe it on the 4th of July. Who knows, there might be a big crowd!


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Image (“Trump’s Birthday, Observed”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

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Armistice Day

November 11, 2014

Armistice Day
This is Veterans Day in the United States. It was originally named Armistice Day and commemorated the time the agreement to stop The Great War was signed, at the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918. After World War I failed to be The War to End All Wars, the U.S. observance was officially renamed Veterans Day in 1954, probably because veterans vote and dead WWI soldiers don’t (except in Chicago), and we already have Memorial Day. Britain still commemorate the WWI Armistice and those who died to achieve it, and today is known as Remembrance Day in Commonwealth nations.


October 14, 2013: Federal Holiday

October 14, 2013

October 14, 2013: Federal Holiday

Today the Federal Office of Management and Budget observes the invasion of the Americas by Cristoforo Colombo, a Genoese private contractor working for the government of Castille. U.S. Government employees and contractors have Monday off, even at the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Oh wait. The Republican Tea Party Caucus already shut down the government two weeks ago. Party at the Ted Cruz house!

Today is also Native American Day In South Dakota and Indigenous People’s Day in Berkeley, California. Think about it.


“Native History: Columbus—Icon and Genocidal Maniac—Lands in New World,” Christina Rose, Indian Country Today