By Amanda McVay, Varner-Hogg Plantation Site Educator
On June 19, 1865 in Galveston, Union Maj.-Gen. Gordon Granger issued General Orders No. 3, which informed the people of Texas that all slaves were free. Texas is considered the first state to begin the observance in 1866 of this special moment in history, known as Juneteenth. For many Americans, it is a day that symbolizes freedom and honors the legacy of once-enslaved African Americans.
In commemoration of this day, Varner-Hogg Plantation State Historic Site held its annual Juneteenth Memorial Service on Saturday, June 16. The reserved service included readings by Varner-Hogg Plantation staff, songs, and a blessing by West Columbia community members. Led in spirit and song, guests then tossed a commemorative wreath and rose petals into Varner Creek, symbolizing a return to African shores.
Following the service, visitors were treated to red velvet cupcakes, molasses cookies, and lemonade sponsored by the Friends and Volunteers of Varner-Hogg Plantation. Special thanks to all who took part in this memorable event. We are looking forward to an even bigger celebration next year!
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