Bill Nye, former children’s TV host, was reminded on Monday why he is “the science guy” and not “the history guy.”
Nye sent out a tweet on Sunday to commemorate Juneteenth, America’s newest national holiday. “The United States we know today was built with the labor of enslaved Black Americans,” he wrote. “The last were not freed (officially) until 19 June 1865. Let us celebrate— and never forget.”
The problem? The last slaves were not freed on June 19.
In December 1865, the 13th Amendment, which outlawed slavery, “except as punishment for a crime,” was ratified, thus ending slavery and freeing the final 45,000 slaves in Kentucky and Delaware.
Juneteenth commemorates the emancipation of slaves in Texas, which happened on June 19, 1865.
Many people, historians or otherwise, were quick to correct the mistake.
“This is not true. Juneteenth doesn’t commemorate the 13th Amendment. It commemorates news of the Emancipation Proclamation reaching Texas. Two union states had slavery until December 1865,” another person said.
“He’s as much of a historian as he is a scientist. And makes up just as much nonsense for both subjects. It’s almost amazing how wrong he constantly is,” said another.
“Please open that and let us what date the 13th amendment was ratified into the constitution that ended slavery once and for all. Hint: it’s not June 19th…..,” said a third.
Happy Juneteenth, Bill.