National Juneteenth Observance Foundation
                         Celebration of Freedom

                         

United States Senate

Carl Levin

Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI)
Sponsor of the 2014 Juneteenth Independence Day Legislation
in the U.S. Senate

Current Legislation


S. RES. 474 -- Designating June 19, 2014, as 'Juneteenth Independence Day' in recognition of June 19, 1865, the day on which slavery legally came to an end in the United States. (Agreed to Senate - ATS)

SRES 474 ATS

 

113th CONGRESS

 

2nd Session

 

S. RES. 474

Designating June 19, 2014, as 'Juneteenth Independence Day'. in recognition of June 19, 1865, the day on which slavery legally came to an end in the United States.

 

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

 

June 12, 2014

Mr. LEVIN (for himself, Mr. CORNYN, Mr. CARDIN, Mr. WHITEHOUSE, Ms. LANDRIEU, Mrs. HAGAN, Mr. HARKIN, Mr. DURBIN, Ms. WARREN, Mr. MARKEY, Mr. PRYOR, Mrs. BOXER, Ms. STABENOW, Mr. RUBIO, Mr. TOOMEY, Mr. WARNER, Mr. CASEY, Mr. KAINE, Mr. FRANKEN, Mr. NELSON, Mr. REID, Mrs. GILLIBRAND, Mr. LEAHY, Mrs. MURRAY, Mr. UDALL of Colorado, Mr. PAUL, Mr. COONS, Mr. CRUZ, Ms. BALDWIN, Mr. UDALL of New Mexico, Mrs. FEINSTEIN, Mr. WICKER, Ms. HIRONO, Mr. SCOTT, Mr. PORTMAN, Mr. BEGICH, Ms. MIKULSKI, Mr. BOOKER, Mr. BENNET, Mr. SCHUMER, Mr. HEINRICH, Mr. BROWN, Ms. MURKOWSKI, and Mr. LEE) submitted the following resolution; which was considered and agreed to





RESOLUTION


Designating June 19, 2014, as 'Juneteenth Independence Day' in recognition of June 19, 1865, the day on which slavery legally came to an end in the United States.

Whereas news of the end of slavery did not reach the frontier areas of the United States, in particular the State of Texas and other Southwestern States, until months after the conclusion of the Civil War, more than 2 1/2 years after President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation was issued 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, for nearly 150 years, have continued the tradition of observing 'Juneteenth Independence Day';

Whereas 43 States, the District of Columbia, and other countries, 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 their descendants 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 United States Constitution in January 1865;

Whereas Frederick Douglass, born in the State of Maryland in 1818, escaped from slavery and became a leading writer, orator, publisher, and one of the United States' most influential advocates for abolitionism and the equality of all people;

Whereas Frederick Douglass was recognized for his accomplishments with a statue that was unveiled during a ceremony on June 19, 2013, in Emancipation Hall of the United States Capitol;

Whereas 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000a et seq.), signed into law on July 2, 1964, a milestone in providing equal protections for African-Americans, including former slaves and their descendants; 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, 2014, 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 a part of the history and heritage of the United States.

Juneteenth Historical
Archives Press Release


         
ORIGINAL DATE OF PRESS RELEASE (4/17/97)

TRENT LOTT
U.S. Senator For Mississippi
Senate Majority Leader
Contact: Susan Irby
(202)-224-5358 


                     Trent Lott

         SENATE MAJORITY LEADER ANNOUNCES 
      JUNETEENTH OBSERVANCE IN U.S. CAPITOL



(Washington, DC) - An unprecedented observance of Juneteenth Independence Day, the commemoration of the end of slavery, will be held in the rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building during the first week of June, Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi announced today. Juneteenth Independence Day refers to the time in mid-June 1865 when word of emanciaption reached America's southwestern frontier. "Since that time, Juneteenth has been celebrated to commemorate the end of slavery and to honor those who endured slavery, especially those who moved from slavery to freedom," Lott said.

On April 10 the Senate adopted legislation officially recognizing Juneteenth Independence Day and encouraging its observance. The measure, Senate Joint Resolution 11, was introduced by Senator Lott and Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota. Cosponsoring the measure were Senators: Spencer Abraham of Michigan, John Ashcroft of Missouri, Thad Cochran of Mississippi, Phil Graham of Texas, Kay Bailey Hutchinson of Texas, Carl Levin of Michigan, Connie Mack of Florida, and Carol Moseley-Braun of Illinois. A companion resolution has been introduced in the House of Representatives by U.S. Representative J.C. Watts of Oklahoma.

Lott saluted the work of the National Association of Juneteenth Lineage with whom he will be planning the upcoming observance. "Juneteenth Independence Day is an opportunity for all Americans to better understand our nation's common past," Lott said.

The full text of the Senate-passed resolution follows:

Commemorating "Juneteenth Independence Day," June 19, 1865, the day on which slavery finally came to an end in the United States.

Whereas, news of the end of slavery came late to the frontier areas of the country, especially in the American Southwest,

Whereas the African-Americans who had been slaves in the Southwest thereafter celebrated June 19th as the anniversary of their emancipation,

Whereas their descendants handed down that tradition from generation to generation as an inspiration and encouragement for future generations,

Whereas Juneteenth celebrations have thus been held for 130 years to honor the memory of all those who endured slavery and especially those who moved from slavery to freedom,

Whereas their example of faith and strength of character remains a lesson for all Americans today, regardless of background or region or race, now, therefore, be it

Resolved

That the annual observance of June 19 as Juneteenth Independence Day is an important and enriching part of our country's history and heritage, and

That the celebration of Juneteenth provides an opportunity for all Americans to learn more about our common past and to better understand the experiences that have shaped our nation, and

That a copy of this Resolution be transmitted to the National Association of Juneteenth Lineage as an expression of appreciation for its role in promoting the observance of Juneteenth Independence Day



              ___________________________

                     Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL)
                      Sponsor of S. Res. 516
                         (Passed - 6/19/06)
 
                        Obama  

              ___________________________

                       Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL)
                       Sponsor of S. Res. 231
                         (Passed - 6/19/07
 
                       Sponsor of S. Res. 584
                           (Passed 6/17/08)
 
                         Durbin


              ___________________________

                        Sen. Roland Burris (D-IL)
                        Sponsor of S. Res. 198
                           (Passed - 6/19/09)

                         Sponsor of S. Res. 559
                           (Passed - 6/16/10)


                   View Image

                  ___________________________

                      Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI)
                     Sponsor of S. Res. 211
                        (Passed - 6/16/11)

                     Sponsor of S. Res. 496
                        (Passed - 6/19/12)

                     Sponsor of S. Res. 175
                        (Passed - 6/19/13)

                     Sponsor of S. Res. 474
                        (Passed - 6/12/14)


                         Carl Levin