Juneteenth Proclamation 2020


WHEREAS, Our country is made up of people from every nation on earth, who are declared equal not only in freedom but also in justice, both of which are essential for a healthy human civilization; and

WHEREAS, Our nation was conceived on July 4, 1776 with the Declaration of Independence, the classic statement being: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”; and

WHEREAS, At 2 p.m. on New Year’s Day, January 1, 1863, using his war powers as President, Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, providing that all persons held as slaves with any State or designated part of a State “shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free”; and

WHEREAS, The Emancipation Proclamation made the permanent abolition of slavery a Union aim and provided the legal framework for the emancipation of nearly all four million slaves as the Union armies advanced; and

WHEREAS, Hearing of the Proclamation, many enslaved people escaped to Union lines as the army units moved south; and

WHEREAS, on June 19, 1865, nearly two and a half years later, Major General Gorson Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, and announced the end of both the Civil War and slavery, with this announcement: “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property,”; and

WHEREAS, On January 1, 1980, Juneteenth became an official Texas state holiday; and

WHEREAS, Since then, forty-five other states and the District of Columbia have also declared it an official holiday; and

WHEREAS, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, on June 19, 2019, signed into law H.B.619, recognizing that June 19 is Juneteenth National Freedom Day,

Now, therefore, I, Barbarann Keffer, Upper Darby Township Mayor, do hereby proclaim June 19, 2020 as

Juneteenth National Freedom Day

in Upper Darby Township and urge all residents to recognize its observance.

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