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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Varner-Hogg Plantation Remembers Juneteenth

By Amanda McVay, site educator, and Angela Pfeiffer, site curator

On June 19, 1865, in Galveston, Union General Gordon Granger issued General Order no. 3, which freed the remaining slaves in the United States. Texas is considered the first state to begin the observance 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. About 40 people attended the service, which included readings by Varner-Hogg Plantation staff, songs, and a blessing by West Columbia community members.

Led in spirit and song, guests then tossed carnations and a commemorative wreath 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 historical reenactor Flem Rogers and the members of the Trinity Worship and Outreach Ministry for taking part in this memorable event. We are looking forward to an even bigger celebration next year!

Varner-Hogg Plantation is located approximately 60 miles south of Houston and is part of the Texas Independence Trail Region.

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