Citizens across the nation are preparing their celebration of this years Juneteenth while one U.S. Senator plans to introduce new legislation that would propose to make the once local commemoration into a nationally recognized holiday.
According to press secretary Tom Flanagin, Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison will present a joint resolution next week that would designate June 19 as Juneteenth Independence Day, reports The Houston Chronicle.
“By observing this day, our nation will honor the role that Juneteenth has played in African-American culture in Texas and throughout the country, and it will remind us that in America, we are all blessed to live in freedom,” Hutchison said.
Juneteenth celebrates the official announcement that Texas slaves were to be freed on June 19th, 1865 when a group of Union soldiers landed in Galveston to inform and enforce the new law. The action came a full three years after Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation that was meant to free the slaves across the entire nation.
Founder and chairman of the National Juneteenth Holiday Campaign, Ronald Myers, says that 41 states across the country already officially recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday, with Maryland close behind to become the 42nd.
“We’re looking for this being the year for Juneteenth to be recognized as a national holiday observance in America, like Flag Day and Patriot Day,” Myers said.
“America needs healing from the legacy of enslavement.”
Does your state officially recognize Juneteenth, or “Freedom Day”? If so, what plans do you have to celebrate the holiday?