house resolution no.131

Rep. Neeley offered the following resolution:

A resolution to declare June 19, 2019, as Juneteenth Independence Day in the state of Michigan.

Whereas, News of the end of slavery did not reach the frontier areas of the United States, in particular the state of Texas and the other southwestern states, until months after the conclusion of the Civil War. This was more than 2˝ years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863; and

Whereas, On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, arrived in Galveston, Texas, with news that the Civil War had ended and that the enslaved were free; and

Whereas, African-Americans who had been slaves in the Southwest celebrated June 19, commonly known as “Juneteenth Independence Day”, as inspiration and encouragement for future generations; and

Whereas, African-Americans from the Southwest have continued the tradition of observing Juneteenth Independence Day for over 150 years; and

Whereas, Juneteenth Independence Day celebrations have been held to honor African-American freedom while encouraging self-development and respect for all cultures; and

Whereas, The faith and strength of character demonstrated by former slaves and the descendants of former slaves remain an example for all people of the United States, regardless of background, religion, or race; and

Whereas, Slavery was not officially abolished until the ratification of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States in December 1865; and

Whereas, Over the course of its history, the United States has grown into a symbol of democracy and freedom around the world; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives, That the members of this legislative body declare June 19, 2019, as Juneteenth Independence Day in the state of Michigan.