2019 - 2020 LEGISLATURE
June 20, 2019 - Introduced by Representatives Fields, Bowen, Crowley, Haywood,
L. Myers, Stubbs, Allen, Anderson, Billings, Brostoff, Cabrera, Considine,
Doyle, Emerson, Goyke, Gruszynski, Hebl, Hintz, Horlacher, Kolste,
Neubauer, Petryk, Riemer, Sargent, Shankland, Sinicki, Skowronski,
Spreitzer, C. Taylor, Thiesfeldt, Tusler, Vining, Vruwink and Dittrich,
cosponsored by Senators L. Taylor, Johnson, Bewley, Kooyenga, Larson,
Miller, Schachtner, Shilling and Wanggaard. Referred to Committee on
AJR64,1,2 1Relating to: recognizing June 19, 2019, as the 57th celebration of Juneteenth Day
2in the State of Wisconsin.
AJR64,1,63 Whereas, Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the
4ending of slavery in the United States. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that
5the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston,
6Texas, with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free; and
AJR64,1,127 Whereas, this was two and a half years after President Lincoln's Emancipation
8Proclamation—which had become official January 1, 1863. The Emancipation
9Proclamation had little impact on the Texans due to the minimal number of Union
10troops to enforce the new Executive Order. However, with the surrender of General
11Lee in April of 1865, and the arrival of General Granger's regiment, the forces were
12finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance; and
AJR64,2,213 Whereas, attempts to explain this two and one-half year delay in the receipt
14of this important news have yielded several versions that have been handed down
15through the years. Often told is the story of a messenger who was murdered on his

1way to Texas with the news of freedom. Another is that the news was deliberately
2withheld by the enslavers to maintain the labor force on the plantations; and
AJR64,2,83 Whereas, the federal troops actually waited for the slave owners to reap the
4benefits of one last cotton harvest before going to Texas to enforce the Emancipation
5Proclamation. All of which, or neither of these versions could be true. Certainly, for
6some, President Lincoln's authority over the rebellious states was in question. For
7whatever the reasons, conditions in Texas remained status quo well beyond what
8was statutory; and
AJR64,2,149 Whereas, Northcott Neighborhood House, Inc., has sponsored Juneteenth
10festivities for all 57 years. Juneteenth today celebrates African American freedom
11and achievement while encouraging continuous self-development and respect for all
12cultures. As it takes on a more national, symbolic, and even global perspective, the
13events of 1865 in Texas are not forgotten, for all of the roots tie back to this fertile soil
14from which a national day of pride is growing; and
AJR64,2,1815 Whereas, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has one of the largest celebrations in the
16United States, and in 2019 there will be a variety of festivities: Miss & Little Miss
17Juneteenth Pageant and Juneteenth Parade and Festival that thousands
18participate in and attend; and
AJR64,2,2319 Whereas, Northcott Neighborhood House's Executive Director MacArthur
20Weddle and Program Director Adriane Griffin will serve as the 2019 Grand Marshals
21of the Juneteenth Parade, they have been the leaders and trailblazers of the success
22of Juneteenth festivities in Milwaukee and a model for other cities to replicate for
23decades; now, therefore, be it
1Resolved by the assembly, the senate concurring, That the members of the
2Wisconsin State Legislature hereby recognize June 19, 2019, as the 57th celebration
3of Juneteenth Day in the State of Wisconsin.
AJR64,3,44 (End)