Juneteenth. Never hear the word till 2 weeks ago. Already a bill being prepared for Congress to vote on to make the day a federal holiday.

Juneteenth is the special way June 19th has come to be pronounced over the years. Often described as the Black Fourth of July. It is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the U.S.

How the day came to be.

Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation became effective January 1, 1863. What most people fail to realize is it did not free all the slaves. It only freed those living in rebellious states. Lincoln wanted to weaken the South by freeing the slaves. Hopefully they would run away from their plantations.

June 19, 1865 is recognized as the birthday of the Black Fourth. Note the Thirteenth Amendment which freed slaves was not ratified till December 1865, some 6 months later.

Texas was the most remote of the slave states. Received Civil War news later than other states.

Union soldiers landed in Galveston, Texas on June 19th. They brought news that the war had ended and slavery had ended.

The blacks were jubilant. Most left immediately for the north. Traveled looking for relatives in other states.

June 19th was coined as a day of celebration. It grew in Texas in succeeding years. Then in other southern states. It became a time for the blacks to reassess each other, pray, and gather family members together.

Then except for Texas, the day began fading. Its resurgence came with the Civil Rights movements of the 1950’s and 1960’s. Received another significant move forward with the Poor People’s March on Washington.

In June 1980, Texas made Juneteenth an official holiday. Since then Juneteenth has experienced exceptional growth. Celebrates all African American freedom and achievement.

Most likely George Floyd’s death and that which ensued is responsible for the attention the day is now receiving. Black people want it formally recognized as their Fourth of July.

Key West is celebrating the day. Today. A Freedom March.

The March begins at 5 with speeches at the Key West Cemetery. At 6, the group will begin a march to Mallory Square.

There are some things I don’t like. They bother me.

Like tearing down Thomas Jefferson’s statue. Tearing down or vandalizing statues of other American heroes with little connection to slavery in years long prior to the Civil War.

Changing Aunt Jemima’s picture and name I find troublesome.

It has been announced that Uncle Ben’s, Mrs. Butterworth, and Cream of Wheat are rebranding in fashion similar to Aunt Jemima because of their racist origins.

Learned yesterday that many Blacks object to the use of the terms “Uncle” and “Aunt.” The words were a Southern form of address first used with older enslaved peoples, since they were denied the use of courtesy titles.

Respectfully, it seems society is going a step too far. Too much is being asked by Blacks.

An exciting week for Supreme Court decisions. Two significant ones. The first the recognition of the rights of gay, lesbian and transgender rights in the work force. The other, the DACA victory. Which blocked Trump from deporting the children brought by their parents illegally to the United States.

A significant federal court hearing at one today. Trump is seeking an emergency order to block the release of John Bolton’s book.

Justice in this case would be permitting the publication to go forward. The book was already reviewed by Trump’s people and whatever they wanted removed was removed. Now Trump at the last minute claims there are more objections.

Additionally, the book has been sent to media personnel already. By whom, I am not sure. The book’s contents have been freely discussed on news talk shows for several days. The cat is out of the bag!

Typical of Trump and his insatiable quest for personal gain, the Court is being asked that in the event it fails in its request for injunctive relief, that Trump receive a share of the book’s profits.

People are hurting. Unemployed number 46 million. And the number continues growing weekly.

Compounding the problem, many are not receiving their unemployment checks. Months late in some instances.

The reason obvious. The states have run out of money. How is this problem to be remedied?

Another example of how government cannot be relied upon in case of emergency.

Recently, I began a 3 part series. The first 3 worst hurricanes in recorded history. One left to go. The Hurricane of 10/17/10. Not today, however.

I have been researching the hurricane. Came across an item I suspect will be of interest to those of you who read the Key West Citizen.

May Johnson is the belle of 1896. A 20 year old school teacher. A major item of fun is dancing at La Brisa as many times as possible. Like several evenings a week.

Researching for the Hurricane of 10/17/1910, I came across a La Brisa item.

Someone wrote comparing it to roulette. In doing so, the 10/17/1910 hurricane was compared to the 10/1909 one of the previous year. Described as a storm of the greatest intensity.

A gambler I am not. However the term “repeater” is prevalent among roulette players. It means that a certain number will come up twice in succession 1,296 – 1 times.

The Hurricane of 10/17/1910 was considered a “repeater.”

La Brisa was a pleasure pavilion. Primarily used by the affluent. Dancing, dining, etc. It was located at the Atlantic end of Simonton Street.

Owned by the Key West Electric Company.

La Brisa was washed from its pillars and dashed to pieces. Most washed out to sea.

Rain, rain, rain. Are we having rain! Almost every day for 3 weeks. Heavy pouring rain. Strange. Not the rainy season yet.

The local feeling is coronavirus is going to strike Key West and the Keys in general soon. We came through the virus pretty much ok till recently. The numbers have started to creep upward.

The Monroe County Commission voted wednesday that all businesses must require employees and customers to wear masks. Mandated!

Any violation a civil rather than criminal one. Subjects the person to a $500 fine. Had it been criminal, the fine would have been $500 and 60 days in jail.

Not going to work!

Greece has come through the virus well. The government was tough. The people listened.

Punishment was heavy. The owner of the business was fined, not the customer, if someone was not wearing a mask. The fine $20,000.

Louis says fine the owner and make the sum astronomical as the Greeks did. Guaranteed everyone will be wearing masks!

Hurricane Irma. Almost 3 years ago. Hit 9/10/17.

People and places still hurting.

Every now and then we hear about money coming from some government source. This time $4.9 million from the Florida Historical Department to repair 3 local historical sites.  The Key West Lighthouse and Keeper’s Quarters, Pigeon Key’s Honeymoon Cottage, and the Citadel at the Fort West Martello.

The coronavirus of today the yellow fever of yesterday.

On this day in 1865, the bark Adventure put into Key West. Four of the crew had yellow fever. They were taken to Marine Hospital.

The fever spread to the Army troops stationed in Key West. An epidemic began. Three hundred thirty one cases. Seventy one died.

The fever spread to the locals. The number who contracted the disease  unknown.

Today, one of significance. My 100th day in self-quarantine.


How has it been?

Not bad at all. The 100 days has swiftly gone by. I do not feel I have been inside that long. I had 2-3 days out of the 100 where I thought I was getting a bit goofy. Passed, however.

I have learned to cook a bit. My food is delivered. Needed something more than ham sandwiches. I have reached the point where I can cook some fish dishes. Two filet mignons a week. Must be careful. Overcook and the rare flavor is gone.

I do a little ironing. Not much. Where am I going?

My time has been spent primarily researching and writing. The blog takes a minimum of 5 hours a day. My tuesday talk show several hours during the week and then 5 more tuesday afternoon.

I have worked on 2 books. Never will finish them.

Read several books. Used the internet for tons of additional reading.

All kept me busy day and night. Worked for me only because I enjoyed what I was doing.

I need to talk to people. Compulsive. Thank God for the internet. I have made several new internet friends. I Skype or Facebook message with them.

You are already aware of Cathy. Cathy from Seattle. Cathy who in the 1980’s lived 3 years in Key West.

We have cocktails once a week on Skpe. Labeled Cocktails at 7. Chat about 2 hours. She imbibes. I only occasionally. Try to limit myself to Diet Pepsis.

How long more will I remain self-quarantined? For a while yet I suspect.

Key West did good coronvirus wise till recently. The numbers are creeping up, however. In 2 or 3 weeks, we are going to have some significant numbers. Key West reopened too early and tourists from the mainland began coming down. Partying without benefit of masks and social distancing.

Enjoy your day!




9 comments on “BLACK FOURTH OF JULY

  1. I agree with you Lou about some statues, monuments, places, etc. that should not necessarily be destroyed or renamed. The test I think shouldn’t be if they owned slaves, but rather if they (statues, etc.) glorified the ownership of slaves or resisted slavery after emancipation. I think the same would go to anything related with the confederacy, anything!

    We can’t erase slavery from it’s history, but we can condemn it’s glorification in every way!

  2. So the SCOTUS rejects Trump’s DACA order, on the basis of how he structured it (it was done wrong) not that DACA was itself constitutionally wrong and Trump throws a fit not that SCOTUS was wrong but that SCOTUS was “not loyal.”

    And there are STILL people will defend Trump as President and not Fascist Dictator?

  3. Big new outbreaks of Covid 19 in Rome, Italy, proving the false hope of heard immunity the experts warned against

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