Established by President William Jefferson Clinton in 1999 by Proclamation 7203 to recognize the impact that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals have had on the world and to commemorate the events of June 1969 at the Stonewall Inn in New York City. To celebrate Pride Month, LGBTQA+ groups gather for parades, picnics, parties, as well as memorials for those who lost their lives to hate crimes and HIV/AIDS. The last Sunday in June is Gay Pride Day. In his Proclamation, President Clinton encouraged Americans to “…remember throughout the year the gay and lesbian Americans whose many and varied contributions have enriched our national life.”
African American Music Appreciation Month
It began in 1979 when Kenny Gamble, Ed Wright, and Dyana Williams developed the idea to set aside a month dedicated to celebrating the impact of Black music. In 2009, President Barack Obama declared the start of summer as a celebration for all the Black “musicians, composers, singers, and songwriters [who] have made enormous contributions to our culture.” On May 31, 2016, President Obama officially declared the month of June as African American Music Appreciation Month.
Immigrant Heritage Month
Established in June 2014, gives people across the United States an opportunity to annually explore their own heritage and celebrate the shared diversity that shapes the unique story of America. During this month we honor immigrants across the United States and their countless contributions to their local communities and economy.
Happy Birthday, Hattie McDaniel! (1893-1952)
Hattie McDaniel was the first African American to win an Oscar in 1940. To accept her award, she had to make her way to the stage from a segregated table at the back of the room.
Flag Day (USA)
Observed to celebrate the history and symbolism of the American flag.
St. Vladimir Day
A Roman Catholic feast celebrating St. Vladimir.
Native American Citizenship Day
Commemorates the day in 1924 when the U.S. Congress passed legislation recognizing the citizenship of Native Americans.
Martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev (Sikhs)
Observed by members of the Sikh faith, Guru Arjan Dev was the fifth Sikh guru and the first Sikh martyr.
Also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, Juneteenth is observed as a public holiday in 14 U.S. states. Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation - which had become official January 1, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on the Texans due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new Executive Order. However, with the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865, and the arrival of General Granger’s regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance. For a more in-depth look at this holiday please click here: https://www.juneteenth.com/history.htm.
New Church Day (Swedenborgian)
New Church is one of many Christian denominations that developed as a new religious group, influenced by the writings of scientist and Swedish Lutheran theologian Emanuel Swedenborg. It is held by followers that on this day the Lord called together the 12 disciples who had followed him on earth, instructed them in the Heavenly Doctrine of the New Jerusalem, and sent them out to teach that “the Lord God Jesus Christ reigns, whose kingdom shall be for ages and ages.” This was the beginning of the New Christian Church.
National Indigenous Peoples Day
Also known as First Nations Day,this day recognizes the indigenous populations affected by colonization in Canada. The day was first celebrated as National Aboriginal Day in 1996, after it was proclaimed that year by then Governor General of Canada Roméo LeBlanc, to be celebrated annually on June 21st. This date was chosen as the statutory holiday for many reasons, including its cultural significance as the Summer Solstice, and the fact that it is a day on which many Indigenous peoples and communities traditionally celebrate their heritage. It was renamed National Indigenous Peoples Day in 2017.
Litha (Wicca, Pagan)
One of eight sabbats, this Summer Solstice celebration takes places on the longest day of the year to honor the power of the sun. One historic ritual includes setting large wheels on fire and rolling them down a hill into a body of water representing the sun’s “annual retreat.”
Happy Birthday, Helen Keller! (1880 - 1968)
Deaf and blind by 19 months, Keller’s life has inspired untold numbers of people to overcome disabilities and/or other hardships in their lives. Helen achieved respect for people with disabilities, while encouraging others to overcome challenges and achieve their goals.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Pride Day (USA)
Traditionally celebrated on the last Sunday in June to commemorate the momentous Stonewall Riots of June 28, 1969. “The Stonewall Riots, also called the Stonewall Uprising, began in the early hours of June 28, 1969 when New York City police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay club located in Greenwich Village in New York City. The raid sparked a riot among bar patrons and neighborhood residents as police roughly hauled employees and patrons out of the bar, leading to six days of protests and violent clashes with law enforcement outside the bar on Christopher Street, in neighboring streets and in nearby Christopher Park. The Stonewall Riots served as a catalyst for the gay rights movement in the United States and around the world.”
Feast Day of Saints Peter and Paul(Eastern Orthodox Christianity)
A Liturgical feast in honor of the martyrdom in Rome for the apostles St. Peter and St. Paul
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/how-juneteenth-s-history-being-reshaped-america-reckons-its-past-n1231510 Image: Diana Ejaita / for NBC News
History.com Editors. (2020). Stonewall Riots. History.com. Retrieved from https://www.history.com/topics/gay-rights/the-stonewall-riots
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