Today is Juneteenth

What exactly is Juneteenth? It is a celebration marking the end of slavery in the United States.  The first time this holiday was celebrated was June 19, 1865.  After the Civil War ended Major General Gordon Granger, arrived in Galveston, Texas.  He quickly spread the news that the war had ended and that the slaves had been freed.   As you hopefully remember from reading Lincoln’s speeches during Jump #6, the Emancipation Proclamation freed the slaves on January 1, 1863.  Sadly, it took two years from the time the Emancipation Proclamation became law until it could be enforced in Texas.  Every year since than, Juneteenth has been celebrated on June 19th with parades, parties, and other celebrations.

Finding Ghost Ships


Thousands of slave ships left Africa to take the Middle Passage to Brazil, the Caribbean, or the United States.  Not all made it.  Sadly, some ships sank with the entire ship full with those who were to be sold into slavery.

One man has decided it is his job to find those ships.  Read the article here to find out how one History professor and his assistants are trying to find missing slave ships and what he plans to do when he finds them.


Elizabeth Freeman

“Any time, any time while I was a slave, if one minute’s freedom had been offered to me, and I had been told I must die at the end of that minute, I would have taken it—just to stand one minute on God’s airth [sic] a free woman— I would.” — Elizabeth Freeman, aka Mum Bett

Elizabeth Freeman portraitPicture from

Currently, we are learning how brave people like Harriet Tubman helped to free slaves.  But have you ever heard of Elizabeth Freeman?  Freeman was a slave who lived in Massachusetts in the late 1700s in Massachusetts. Elizabeth Freeman sued for her freedom and won it in a courtroom!

Read the entire article here!

Find Buried Ships in San Francisco

During the Gold Rush, people were so excited to get to San Francisco start their journey to the Gold Country that often times people would abandon their ships.  The leaders of San Francisco, at first, did not know what to do with these ships.  Some were left in the harbor, others were ghost ships moving through the water with no crew.  Finally, city builders decided to use the ships as filler.  The green area on the map used to be ocean.  City builders used the ships as land fill to build the city out.  Some of the ships were destroyed but some have recently been found underground intact.  Read the article to find out how some of the ships can be seen today.

Next time you are in San Francisco see if you can check out a Ghost Ship!

Click here to read the entire article!

Treaty of New Echota

Though you may have never hear of the the Treaty of New Echota you have heard of its outcome, the Trail of Tears.   The Trail of Tears began on December 29, 1835 when the Treaty of New Echota was signed by a Cherokee leader named Major Ridge.  For $5 million dollars, Major Ridge agreed that the Cherokee would move to Indian Territory which is present-day Oklahoma.  Unfortunately, Major Ridge did not speak for the majority of the Cherokee people but only a small group.  The United States government wanted Cherokee land because of the discovery of gold in north Georgia.  As we have learned in class, the Cherokee fought the treaty in court.  They won the court case  but lost the war. The Cherokee traveled more than 1,200 miles. Whooping cough, typhus, dysentery, cholera and starvation compounded the journey.  It is estimated that 5,000 Cherokees died on the trail.  In the end, Major Ridge, the signer of the Treaty of New Echota, was assassinated by the Cherokee in 1839.