2017 Senate Joint Resolution 55
Relating to: recognizing June 19, 2017, as Juneteenth Day in Wisconsin.
Whereas, Juneteenth Day is a national holiday that celebrates the end of slavery in the United States, and Juneteenth Day specifically commemorates June 19, 1865, the day that Union General Gordon Granger spoke in Galveston, Texas, proclaiming free the last remaining slaves in the United States; and
Whereas, Union General Gordon Granger delivered this news to recognize the freedom of these men, and this proclamation was given nearly two and one-half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was declared; and
Whereas, slavery in the United States lasted over 250 years and enslaved millions of African-Americans in horrific conditions throughout all regions in the United States, including in Wisconsin, where hundreds of slaves were held illegally; and
Whereas, Juneteenth Day is officially observed in 43 states across the country, and Juneteenth Day has come to signify a celebration of African-American freedom, achievement, and history; and
Whereas, Juneteenth Day brings the African-American community and persons of all races together in the fight for equality, and it is important as legislators to promote solidarity in this effort; and
Whereas, Juneteenth Day is typically celebrated in ways such as public readings of the Emancipation Proclamation, the singing of songs, and family gatherings; and
Whereas, Juneteenth Day provides a time for a mature reflection on the history of the institution of slavery in the United States and Wisconsin, provides an opportunity to educate Americans about the history of slavery and emancipation, and provides an occasion to celebrate the continuing advancement of African-Americans and freedom in the United States; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the senate, the assembly concurring, That the legislature hereby proclaims June 19, 2017, as Juneteenth Day in Wisconsin.