Bill Nye, also known for many, as the “Science Guy,” claimed that Juneteenth was the date when America ended slavery. Unfortunately for him, that was a mistake, and it was not a mistake that people ignored. A lot of internet users and on Twitter quickly told the famed TV Science Guy and educator to go back to reading the history books. Bill Nye is well known for his education and eponymous 90s TB show. It seems that the Science Guy should have stuck to science, as the 66-years-old attempt to share historical insight was a mistake.

Why was Bill Nye Mistaken with the Date?

The date became a federal holiday by USA President Joe Biden last year. It aims to commemorate the slaves’ emancipation in the USA. On the other hand, this anniversary is symbolic, as many US states still permitted slavery at that point. The slaves did not formally get freed until December of 1865. It happened when the 13th Amendment finally abolished this horrid practice. In fact, the date above commemorates news of the Emancipation Proclamation. It was issued two years earlier by none other than Abraham Lincoln. The news spread in Confederate-run Texas by Gordon Granger, the US Union General.

It was on June 19th, 1865. That day, the US army announced that over 250k enslaved black people in the state would be freed by the executive decree of President Lincoln. The day was dubbed by the newly freed black people “Juneteenth.”Almost six months after that, the 13th Amendment was added. It is the Amendment that prohibited slave ownership completely. That makes other states such as Delaware and Kentucky to do the same and cease this practice.

Bill Nye’s Tweet that Started All of This

Bill Nye tweeted, “The US that we know was built with the hard work and labor of Black Americans.”He also posted a selfie with a pocket-sized USA Constitution. The TV Show host continued to tell that the last slaves in the country received their freedom on that day (June 19th), 157 years ago. He added that the last did not receive their freedom officially until the 19th of June and asked everyone to celebrate and never to forget that date.

The statement in Bill Nye’s tweet sparked a quick backlash from social media. A lot of users were quick to correct the Science Guy. They pointed out that slavery did not get completely abolished for another 6 months. One user made it clear that it was not accurate. However, not all users were direct in their tweets. Another more cheeky Twitter user told Nye that he should open the Constitution that he was holding and do a quick fact-check. The user continued and said that he should open the Constitution and check the date of the 13th Amendment that ratified the Constitution, which ended slavery. The user added a hint that it is not June the 19th.


It is important to note that there were still instances of slavery after the ratification of the Amendment. There are even still instances of human trafficking in some parts of the world to this day. On the other hand, Bill Nye, whose show went off the TV in 1998 after a 5-year run, did not comment. He is still yet to give his comment on the great wave of corrections that were aimed at him after his statement. It is not the first time Bill Nye the Science Guy gave his fans wisdom. Back in May of 2019, he gave a profanity-packed video on HBO on the John Oliver Show. He was hysterically warning about the dangers of global warming.