Juneteenth National Freedom Day


WHEREAS, Juneteenth National Freedom Day celebrates the day of June 19, 1865, when Major General Gordon Granger led Union soldiers into Galveston, Texas, bringing news that the Civil War had ended and that the Emancipation Proclamation declared all slaves to be free; and   

WHEREAS, in Texas and throughout the South, Juneteenth celebrations began on June 19th of each year — consisting of prayer services, inspirational speeches, readings of the Emancipation Proclamation, food, games, and dances; and

WHEREAS, in 1997, during the 105th US Congress, House Joint Resolution 56 and Senate Joint Resolution 11 were passed, officially recognizing Juneteenth as the Independence Day Observance of Americans of African descent; and

WHEREAS, Juneteenth reflects our Commonwealth’s deep belief in liberty and equality for every citizen, as all Virginians benefit from a greater understanding and appreciation of the experiences of others; and

WHEREAS, Juneteenth commemorates the strength and resolve of African-Americans throughout our history, and is an opportunity to highlight the value of African-American culture, art, history, and achievement;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Terence R. McAuliffe, do hereby recognize June 19, 2014, as JUNETEENTH NATIONAL FREEDOM DAY in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.