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5 Fun Facts About June 19 In Virginia History

---Learn Every Day: VA Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history va To: 618-270-4005---

1. Emancipation Proclamation Commemoration: June 19, 1865, commonly known as Juneteenth, is recognized as the day that African American slaves in Texas learned of their freedom - two and a half years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This day has become a symbol of freedom and equal rights and is celebrated as such in Virginia and other states across the country.

2. King Carter and the Birthplace of American Democracy: On June 19, 1704, Robert "King" Carter of Lancaster County was elected as Speaker of the Virginia House of Burgesses. Known as the "Grandfather of the Country," Carter was instrumental in shaping Virginia's colonial government, and his election marked a turning point in the birth of American democracy.

3. The Battle of Gaines' Mill: On June 19, 1862, one of the bloodiest battles of the American Civil War took place outside of Richmond, Virginia. The Battle of Gaines' Mill saw Confederate forces under the command of General Robert E. Lee defeat Union forces, resulting in more than 7,000 casualties.

4. The First Juneteenth Celebration in Virginia: On June 19, 1938, the first Juneteenth celebration was held in Virginia. Organized by community leader John Mitchell Jr., the celebration commemorated the emancipation of African American slaves and brought together people from across the state to recognize this important moment in history.

5. The Formation of the Virginia Company: On June 19, 1606, King James I of England granted a charter to the Virginia Company, giving it the authority to establish colonies in the New World. This charter paved the way for the establishment of Jamestown, Virginia, which would become the first permanent English settlement in North America.
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