Next week, the nation will celebrate Juneteenth, a milestone in the struggle for freedom and equality. On June 19, 1865, General Gordon Granger led the Union Army into Galveston, Texas, and informed African Americans of their freedom and the end of the Civil War. Though President Lincoln had abolished slavery in the states that were in rebellion on January 1, 1863, local slave holders had kept this momentous news a secret. As news spread across Texas, African Americans began to celebrate. This celebration continued for 150 years as a moment to gather in community and reflect on history and tradition.
This month, the nation also celebrates LGBTQ+ Pride Month, timed to commemorate the Stonewall Riot in New York City in 1969. Targeted by police for “homosexual behavior” and “cross dressing,” clients at the Stonewall Inn began resisting arrest–and the ongoing victimization and abuse they faced on a daily basis. They were joined by thousands of others in six days of confrontation and protest. The first pride march happened the following year with the explicit goal of commemorating this bold resistance, and many see it as the beginning of the Movement for LGBTQ+ Liberation.
Juneteenth and Pride both remind us of those who came before us who opened the path for increased freedom in this country. And both remind us that the road to equality is long and full of struggle.
We preserve President Lincoln’s Cottage as a home for brave ideas and work to inspire all people to continue the struggle for freedom. As Lincoln said, “The struggle of today, is not altogether for today – it is for a vast future also.”
We are proud to celebrate Juneteenth and Pride—and to honor the activists who advance equality in all walks of life. It requires vision, bravery, and grit to make change, and we all benefit from those who dedicate their lives to that vast future that lies ahead.
A record-breaking 1,200 friends, supporters, and neighbors joined us for Bourbon & Bluegrass 2022. The two-day festival was, attendants agreed, the most spirited Bourbon & Bluegrass to date with frolicsome music provided by Hollertown, Doug Stevenson & the Spades, Moose Jaw, Tray Wellington and his band, and our headliner Driftwood.
Our food partners came through with delicious food, and refreshing bourbon cocktails were enjoyed thanks to our exclusive bourbon sponsor: Beam Suntory. This event is our largest annual fundraiser and more than $60,000 was raised to support preservation efforts at the Cottage. Great success!
In 2012 Curtis Harris wrote this piece on the history of Juneteenth for the Lincoln’s Cottage blog, today the Brave Ideas blog. Ten years later, we are finally celebrating nationally this important holiday.
Curtis wrote that the day has traditionally been celebrated by “readings of the Emancipation Proclamation, barbecue, dancing, singing, and poetry recitations as the day grew into a wider celebration of black culture in Texas.” We hope you will all take the time to give proper reverence to the holiday this month.
As part of that due reverence, we advise you read about the history of slavery in this country. Our store specializes in the history of slavery and freedom, so please come on by to see our full selection.
The country called him, “Father Abraham,” but what was Lincoln really like as a parent? We have some resources to explore that question.
Our Q&Abe podcast episode, “Willie was his favorite, right?” We explore Lincoln’s relationship with his four sons and his grief at the death of Eddy and Willie. In an article on our Brave Ideas Blog, Blake Harris hones in on his relationship with Robert.
Tad was the only one of the Lincoln boys to live at the Cottage. We like to think of President Lincoln and Tad reading together in front of the fireplaces at the Cottage, climbing trees on the South Lawn, playing checkers on the veranda.
Support our educational programs, preservation efforts and public events by making a contribution to President Lincoln’s Cottage. Donate online today.