TO CONGRATULATE AND COMMEND THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS ON ESTABLISHING JUNE 19 AS JUNETEENTH INDEPENDENCE DAY, A NEW NATIONAL HOLIDAY.
Whereas, Juneteenth, an annual holiday observing the end of slavery in the United States, marks the day (June 19, 1865) when news of emancipation reached people in the deepest parts of the former Confederacy; and
Whereas, in 2021, it became the first new federal holiday created by Congress in nearly four decades. The bipartisan legislation was signed into law by President Joe Biden on June 17, giving Juneteenth the same status as Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, and other federal holidays; and
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, more than two and a half 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. African Americans from the Southwest have continued the tradition of observing Juneteenth Independence Day for over one hundred fifty years; and
Whereas, further, forty-five states and the District of Columbia have designated Juneteenth Independence Day as a special day of observance in recognition of the emancipation of all slaves in the United States; and
Whereas, Juneteenth Independence Day celebrations have been held to honor African American freedom while encouraging self-development and respect for all cultures. 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, over the course of its history, the United States has grown into a symbol of democracy and freedom around the world, making this new federal holiday an entirely appropriate celebration. Now, therefore,
Be it resolved by the House of Representatives:
That the members of the South Carolina House of Representatives, by this resolution, congratulate and commend the United States Congress on establishing June 19 as Juneteenth Independence Day, a new national holiday.
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