May 20, 1865: Emancipation Day

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The Civil War in Florida had been one of frustration for both sides.  A sideshow, neither government was willing to dedicate the resources needed to control the sparsely populated, and almost entirely rural, state.  Small battles and minor skirmishes were the order of the day.  The War ended with the Union controlling the coastline and the Confederacy controlling the interior, Tallahassee being the only Confederate state capitol east of the Mississippi not under Confederate control.  Union troops entered Tallahassee on May 10, 1865 and took control formally of the state on May 20, 1865 in a ceremony which included a reading of the Emancipation Proclamation.  Thereafter Black Floridians for generations observed May 20 as Emancipation Day.

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Published in: on May 20, 2015 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on May 20, 1865: Emancipation Day  
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