Obama on the Record: Juneteenth

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On this day in 1865, more than two years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, those who found themselves still enslaved in Galveston, Texas had their hopes realized and their prayers answered. Contrary to what others had told them, the rumors they had heard were indeed true. The Civil War had ended, and they were now free.

General Gordon Granger issued the call with “General Order No. 3” saying “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. “ June 19, or Juneteenth, is now observed in 31 states. Nearly a century and a half later, the descendants of slaves and slave owners can commemorate the day together and celebrate the rights and freedoms we all share in this great nation that we all love.

This moment also serves as a time for reflection and appreciation, and an opportunity for many people to trace their family’s lineage. African Americans helped to build our nation brick by brick and have contributed to her growth in every way, even when rights and liberties were denied to them. In light of the historic unanimous vote in the United States Senate this week supporting the call for an apology for slavery and segregation, the occasion carries even more significance.

(Source: White House)

  • The above article was it written by President Obama for publication today?

    I have been unable to find anything on the net except this item that says as President Juneteenth is a historical day of celebration.

  • We honor our ancestors, Americans of African descent, who heard the news of freedom on the “19th of June”, 1865, and celebrated in the streets of Galveston, Texas. “None are free, until all are free!” Juneteenth is the celebration of the end of enslavement in America that we have embraced as African-Americans.

    Juneteenth is America’s 2nd Independence Day celebration. 31 states recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday or state holiday observance, as well as the District of Columbia and the Congress of the United States.

    Together we will see Juneteenth become a national holiday in America!

    Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D.
    National Juneteenth Holiday Campaign
    National Juneteenth Observance Foundation (NJOF)
    National Juneteenth Christian Leadership Council (NJCLC)
    National Association of Juneteenth Jazz Presenters