A Look Back At Significant Historic Events Of June

Today I’m taking a design departure to remember 3 significant June historic events with you.  I believe our past helps us design our future so I hope you enjoy this look back.

June is a significant month for African American history because several fortuitous events took place that no American should forget or dismiss.

Today, African Americans as well as other groups are still struggling to attain equal rights and treatment without prejudice.  I thought it important to reflect and remember these significants events that go largely unnoticed but should be commemorated.

Here’s my look back in American history.

June 11, 1963

On June 11, 1963 the Alabama National Guard troops allowed two African American students to enroll at the University of Alabama.

George Wallace UA Fosters Hall

UA desegration 6-11-63

UA Foster Hall






Black students Vivian Malone and James A. Hood showed up at the University of Alabama campus in Tuscaloosa to attend class. In what historians often refer to as the “Stand in the Schoolhouse Door,” the governor literally stood in the doorway as federal authorities tried to allow the students to enter.

George Wallace, one of the most controversial politicians in U.S. history, had been elected governor of Alabama in 1962 promising to maintain segregation.  In his 1963 inaugural address, he promised his white followers: “Segregation now! Segregation tomorrow! Segregation forever!” When African American students attempted to desegregate the University of Alabama in June 1963, Alabama’s new governor, surrounded by state troopers, blocked the door of the enrollment office.

It took the U.S. Supreme Court, who had declared segregation unconstitutional in 1954’s Brown v. Board of Education, to enforce the ruling allowing the black students access.

On June 10, 1963, President John F. Kennedy federalized National Guard troops and deployed them to the University of Alabama to force its desegregation. The next day, Governor Wallace yielded to the federal pressure, and two African American students, Vivian Malone and James A. Hood, successfully enrolled.

My son is currently a student at the University of Alabama so I have visited the campus often.  The color photos are of the campus today.

June 15, 1877

Henry O Flipper, 1st African American graduate at USMA, West Point,NY

Henry Ossian Flipper, was born a slave in Thomasville, Georgia in 1856.  He became the first African American cadet to graduate from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York.  Flipper was never spoken to by a white cadet during his four years at West Point.  He was appointed a second lieutenant in the all-African American 10th Cavalry, stationed at Fort Sill, Oklahoma in Indian Territory.

The United States Military Academy is the first military school in America.  It was founded by Congress in 1802 for the purpose of educating and training young men in the theory and practice of military science.  The U.S. Military Academy, often simply known as West Point is a beautifully expansive campus set in the mountains about an hour from New York City.

My husband is a graduate of West Point and I lived there with him as a newlywed when he worked there.

June 19, 1863 – Juneteenth Independence Day

President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1962 during the Civil War.  The effective date for all slaves to be free in the Confederate States was January 1, 1863.  Lincoln’s decree also announced that the Union (north) would begin recruiting former slaves and free blacks to serve in the Union army in 1863.

During the Civil War many slaveholders had migrated into Texas to escape the war because there was no fighting there.   By 1865, it’s estimated more than 250,000 slaves were living in Texas.  The news of the end of the Civil War did not reach Texas until May of 1865.

On June 18th Union General Gordon Granger arrived at Galveston Island to occupy Texas on behalf of the federal government.  On June 19, 1865 he read the order that announced the total emancipation of all slaves from the balcony of Galveston Island’s Ashton Villa.

The following year freed slaves in Galveston celebrated the first event that we recognize today as Juneteenth.

Galveston Island Ashton Villa - Junetienth

 The proclamation announcing all slaves were freed was given from the balcony of Galveston Island’s Ashton Villa, now a historic home.

I lived in Texas near Galveston and visited Galveston Island every summer.  I love to see historic homes especially when I can personally relate to the home’s history.  My children know I also love to share history with them too.

I hope you have enjoyed this design departure and mini history walk.  I promise I’ll be back to delight and inspire with the best interior design soon.

Until next time …

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