When Do You Celebrate Freedom, Emancipation or Independence Day?

April 15 is usually tax day in the United States. This is the due date when American citizens have to file tax returns. But it's 2011 and tax day is not Friday, April 15. Instead, taxes are to be filed by midnight April 18, 2011. Normally, the only reason tax day is later than the 15th, is when the 15th falls on Saturday or Sunday.

Why is April 18 Tax Day in 2011?

It's because of the Emancipation Day holiday in Washington, DC. President Abraham Lincoln signed the Compensated Emancipation Act on April 16, 1862 to free slaves in the District of Columbia. In observance of the DC holiday, 2011 Tax Day was moved forward one business day, landing it on Monday, April 18.

When were the slaves emancipated?

The April 16, 1862 Compensated Emancipation Act freed about 3000 slaves.

Most American children are taught about the Emancipation Proclamation which Abraham Lincoln issued on September 22, 1862. Under this executive order the United States president immediately freed 50,000 slaves and proclaimed the freedom of 3.1 million of the nation's 4 million slaves effective January 1, 1863. So, two more emancipation dates we could celebrate.

Not covered by the Emancipation Proclamation were nearly 500,000 slaves in the Union slave-holding border states of Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland or Delaware. These slaves were freed by separate state and federal actions. So more freedom from slavery dates.

Although freedom was proclaimed on many dates, slavery did not officially end in the United States until after the American Civil War, which lasted from 1861 until 1865.

What is Juneteenth?

Juneteenth is yet another emancipation celebration. The news of the ending of slavery and the Emancipation Proclamation did not reach the slaves in Texas until June 19, 1865. June 19 marks the date that Major General Gordon Granger and Union Army troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, and announced the end of the Civil War and the freedom of all enslaved persons. The name Juneteenth is a portmanteau of June and nineteenth. It is recognized as a state holiday in 37 states of the United States.

Another Freedom Day in Texas

Texas used to be Mexican Texas. The Texas Declaration of Independence, adopted on March 2, 1836, created the Republic of Texas. Hence the State of Texas has an official holiday called Texas Independence Day.

When is United States Independence Day?

The United States federal holiday is July 4th. Independence Day, also known as the Fourth of July is considered the national day of the United States. It commemorates the July 4, 1776 Declaration of Independence, from the Kingdom of Great Britain. Fourth of July fireworks are a tradition. While many holiday dates have been changed to fall on a Monday, Independence Day is always celebrated on July 4th.

What is Tax Freedom Day?

Annually, the Tax Foundation, a fiscally conservative think tank, calculates how long it will take Americans to earn enough money to pay their federal, state and local tax bills. For 2011 it's one hundred and one days ! So this year Tax Freedom Day was April 12. It is estimated that Americans will pay more in taxes in 2011 than they will spend on groceries, clothing and shelter combined. Is it a day you celebrate?

To demonstrate how the tax compromise passed in December 2010 is affecting your 2011 taxes, the Obama administration created a "Tax Cut Calculator". The whitehouse.gov calculator considers four provisions of the tax bill: the 2% cut in the employee portion of the Social Security payroll tax, the child tax credit, the earned income tax credit, and the American Opportunity Tax Credit for college tuition.

What is the Tea Party?

The first Tea Party was December 16, 1773. The Boston Tea Party was the action that ignited the series of events leading to the American Revolution and independence. Colonists, angry about unfair taxation, boarded ships and destroyed tea by throwing it into Boston Harbor. It was about freedom from taxation without representation.

2009 spurned a modern day Tea Party movement. The Tea Party Patriots, as they call themselves, are a grassroots political activists for reduced government spending, opposition to taxation in varying degrees, reduction of the national debt and federal budget deficit, and adherence to an originalist interpretation of the United States Constitution.

Let's Celebrate Freedom

The first amendment to the United States constitution affirms freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom to assemble peaceably, freedom to petition the government for a redress of grievances and freedom to protest. Tax Day Tea Party Rallies is just another exercise of American freedom.

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