June the Nineteenth is Emancipation Day in many states in North America.  It is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States from 1865. 

Of course we English made the slave trade illegal in 1802, 1807  and again in 1833.  In practice it was illegal in England from 1772 but not formerly enshrined in law till much later.  Of course that’s nothing compared to the forward thinking Japanese.  In 1588 Toyotomi Hideyoshi ordered all slave trading to be abolished.

The UN formerly banned slavery in 1948 as part of the Declaration of Human Rights.

Juneteenth is also a fine example of a portmanteau.  No, not the travelling case but a fusion of two words and their meanings into one.


Filed under Reasons to be cheerful

10 responses to “Juneteenth

  1. M

    Obviously nobody likes Emancipation day… probably because it sounds somewhat like “A nancy paint end ay?” which is more than a little bit confusing to the layperson (who has the misfortune of being born to a chicken, or rather, hen… hmm… why do we do that. Why do we refer to the birds we kill and eat as “chickens” – if they’re chickens then there must be some huge MF’ing giant hens parading around the factory farmyards. Maybe psycho psyborg hens who run around eating farmers for lunch and playing pre-release versions of manhunt 2 on their wii consoles when nobody’s looking. Or not. But I think it scares me. Unless, really, we’re eating hens and cocks when we eat chicken and maybe hens and cocks have just had a bad rap lately so we feel more at ease imagining the thing we’re eating to be tiny, cute and fluffy yellow-feathered chicks… which means they’re being really overfed and poultry obessity must be a really big problem that people just don’t talk about… the dark secrets of the farming industry or something like that.
    See. People ignore a sensible, rational, important blog entry and some loony comes along and rants about nonsense
    harumph! dooby do be do

  2. At least you didn’t comment on my portmaneau.

    I don’t eat hens, cocks or chickens. Not since Edwina Curry was Health Minister and that’s a very long time ago indeed.

  3. M

    I used to think that Edwina Curry was something they served in Indian restraunts; predicably, I suppose, along with a dish of Tim Rice…


  4. The reality is much worse.

  5. M

    Reality often is different to the fantasy. Not always worse, but not always the same.


  6. Now you’ve started to veer off into uncharted territory. All this talk of fantasies. Tsk! I’d say that you ride a horse named Tangent if I didn’t mind mixing my metaphors. I do mind though.

    Then again you could enter uncharted territory on horseback. It isn’t exclusively a naval term is it?

  7. M

    I’ve never charted Terri Torrey; I’ve tried a couple of times but she always gives me a slap when I get my tape measure out…

  8. That’s the trouble with some women. They don’t understand the male requirement to measure things.

  9. M

    I think the problem is more to do with where I keep the tape measure….

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