Butler Joins Colleagues In Introducing Resolution Recognizing Juneteenth

WASHINGTON – Today, Senator Butler joined Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) and 42 Senate colleagues in introducing a bipartisan Senate resolution recognizing Juneteenth Independence Day. Text is below.

“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 2\1/2\ years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863;

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 enslaved African Americans were free;

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;

Whereas African Americans from the Southwest have continued the tradition of observing Juneteenth Independence Day for more than 150 years;

Whereas Juneteenth Independence Day began as a holiday in the State of Texas and is now celebrated in all 50 States and the District of Columbia as a special day of observance in recognition of the emancipation of all slaves in the United States;

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

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;

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, That the Senate—

(1) designates June 19, 2024, as “Juneteenth Independence Day”;

(2) recognizes the historical significance of Juneteenth Independence Day to the United States;

(3) supports the continued nationwide celebration of Juneteenth Independence Day to provide an opportunity for the people of the United States to learn more about the past and to better understand the experiences that have shaped the United States; and

(4) recognizes that the observance of the end of slavery is part of the history and heritage of the United States.”

Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Christopher Coons (D-DE), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Angus King (I-ME), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Susan Collins (R-ME), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Thomas Carper (D-DE), Tina Smith (D-MN), John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Bernard Sanders (I-VT), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), John Hoeven (R-ND), Todd Young (R-IN), Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Christopher Murphy (D-CT), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Laphonza Butler (D-CA), Bob Casey (D-PA), Gary Peters (D-MI), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Tim Scott (R-SC) joined the resolution.

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