S. J. RES. 45
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
June 19, 2012
Mrs. Hutchison (for herself, Mr. Levin, Mr. Cornyn, Mr. Cardin, Ms. Landrieu, Mr. Brown of Ohio, Mrs. Boxer, Ms. Stabenow, Mr. Harkin, Mr. Begich, Mr. Durbin, Mr. Warner, Mr. Webb, Mr. Nelson of Florida, and Mr. Akaka) introduced the following joint resolution; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary
Amending title 36, United States Code, to
designate June 19 as
Whereas news of the end of slavery did not reach the frontier of the United States, and in particular the Southwestern States, for more than 2½ years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, and months after the conclusion of the Civil War;
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 slaves were free;
Whereas African Americans who had been slaves in the
Southwest celebrated June 19, commonly known as
Day, as the anniversary of their emancipation;
Whereas African Americans from the Southwest continue the tradition of celebrating Juneteenth Independence Day as inspiration and encouragement for future generations;
Whereas for more than 145 years, Juneteenth Independence Day celebrations have honored African-American freedom while encouraging self-development and respect for all cultures; and
Whereas the faith and strength of character demonstrated by former slaves remain an example for all people of the United States, regardless of their background, religion, or race: Now, therefore, be it
Designation of June 19 as Juneteenth Independence Day
Chapter 1 of title 36, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
Juneteenth Independence Day
June 19 is Juneteenth Independence Day.
The President is requested to issue each year a proclamation calling on State and local governments and the people of the United States to observe Juneteenth Independence Day with appropriate ceremonies, programs, and activities.
The table of sections for chapter 1 of title 36, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
145. Juneteenth Independence Day.