SENATE RESOLUTION 214--DESIGNATING JUNE 19, 2017, AS ``JUNETEENTH INDEPENDENCE DAY'' IN RECOGNITION OF JUNE 19, 1865, THE DATE ON WHICH SLAVERY LEGALLY CAME TO AN END IN THE UNITED STATES; Congressional Record Vol. 163, No. 112
(Senate - June 29, 2017)

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[Pages S3864-S3865]
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   SENATE RESOLUTION 214--DESIGNATING JUNE 19, 2017, AS ``JUNETEENTH 
 INDEPENDENCE DAY'' IN RECOGNITION OF JUNE 19, 1865, THE DATE ON WHICH 
          SLAVERY LEGALLY CAME TO AN END IN THE UNITED STATES

  Mr. WICKER (for himself, Mrs. Gillibrand, Ms. Baldwin, Mr. Bennet, 
Mr. Booker, Mr. Burr, Ms. Cantwell, Mr. Cardin, Mr. Casey, Mr. Cochran, 
Ms. Collins, Mr. Coons, Mr. Cornyn, Mr. Cruz, Ms. Duckworth, Mr. 
Durbin, Mrs. Feinstein, Mr. Franken, Ms. Harris, Mr. Kaine, Mr. King, 
Ms. Klobuchar, Mr. Lankford, Mr. Lee, Mr. Markey, Mr. Merkley, Mr. 
Moran, Ms. Murkowski, Mr. Murphy, Mrs. Murray, Mr. Nelson, Mr. Paul, 
Mr. Perdue, Mr. Peters, Mr. Rubio, Mr. Scott, Ms. Stabenow, Mr. Tillis, 
Mr. Van Hollen, Mr. Warner, Ms. Warren, Mr. Whitehouse, Mr. Wyden, and 
Mr. Young) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to 
the Committee on the Judiciary:

                              S. Res. 214

       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

[[Page S3865]]

     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 that the enslaved 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 
     over 150 years;
       Whereas 45 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;
       Whereas Juneteenth Independence Day celebrations have been 
     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, 2017, 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.

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