06 19, 2019

Juneteenth: The Historical Significance of June 19

By |2019-06-19T06:00:23-04:00June 19, 2019|

Juneteenth is an American holiday that commemorates the announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas on June 19, 1865. But it’s come to have a broader meaning, celebrating the freedom of all black slaves.

The date became even more important when the Civil Rights Act was passed on June 19, 1964.

But that’s just the iceberg’s tip. By coincidence, several momentous events in American Civil Rights history have occurred on or near June 19. As part of James A. Garfield National Historic Site‘s Civil War series, Site Manager Todd Arrington leads us on a time-traipsing tour of these memorable Juneteenths.

Our Civil War series continues at noon on Wednesday, July 10, at our Main Branch. We’ll discuss the Battle of Gettysburg. As always, the talk is free and open to all.

By the way, if you’re interested in Civil War history, several talks in our Civil War series can be viewed online in their entirety, including:

05 18, 2019

The 14th Amendment: Reinventing Freedom

By |2019-05-18T06:00:45-04:00May 18, 2019|

Our nation has few inconsequential constitutional amendments – maybe the one we repealed – but few, if any, were as revolutionary as the 14th amendment, which addressed citizenship rights and equal protection of the law following the Civil War.

Our series on the legacies and leaders of the Civil War continues with a closer look at this amendment. The experts from the James A. Garfield National Historic Site discuss:

  • what the amendment entails
  • why President Andrew Johnson repeatedly tried to block it
  • how it ended up a vital part of corporate (as well as civil rights) law.

Our Civil War series continues at noon on Wednesday, June 12, at our Main Branch. We’ll learn about Juneteenth. As always, the talk is free and open to all.

By the way, if you’re interested in Civil War history, several talks in our Civil War series can be viewed online in their entirety, including:

08 19, 2017

MPL Talks: Civil War to Civil Rights

By |2017-08-19T06:00:29-04:00August 19, 2017|


During the most recent talk in our Civil War series with James A. Garfield National Historic Site, Judge Paul Mitrovich took on the ambitious task of tracking civil rights from slavery to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

During his talk, he highlighted landmark Supreme Court decisions like:

  • the Dred Scott case
  • Plessy v. Ferguson
  • and Brown v. Board.

Those who may have missed Mitrovich’s talk can watch it in its entirety right now.

Obviously, this is an audacious subject and Mitrovich has to speed through some substantial topics. For a deeper dive, you can borrow his book, Justice Delayed, from our collection.

Our Civil War series continues with an overview of political cartoons, humor, and satire during the war at noon on Sept. 13 at our Main Branch. The talk is free and open to all.

Other talks from our Civil War series:

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