WHEREAS, the State of Alaska celebrates Juneteenth, a blending of “June” and “nineteenth,” on the third Saturday in June, which is the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States; and
WHEREAS, this commemoration dates back to June 19, 1865 when Union Soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, arrived in Galveston, Texas with news that the civil war had ended and that all slaves were now free. The state of Texas held the last major remnant of slavery in the country after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation became official in 1863; and
WHEREAS, each year on the anniversary of the Galveston announcement, cities across Alaska and the nation honor the freeing of the last slaves and celebrate African American heritage through celebrations, family gatherings, parades, historical reenactments, African American heritage exhibits, traditional musical performances, or readings by African American writers; and
WHEREAS, people from all races, nationalities, and religions join together on this day to acknowledge a period in our history that shaped and continues to influence our society today. It is a time for rejoicing, and also for assessment, self-improvement, and planning for the future; and
WHEREAS, Juneteenth Day is also an opportunity for all of us to join together to promote the values of respect, tolerance, and acceptance in our communities, as well as reaffirm our commitment to upholding the inalienable rights outlined in our nation’s constitution – the rights of liberty, dignity, and equality for all citizens.
NOW THEREFORE, I, Michael J. Dunleavy, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF ALASKA, do hereby proclaim June 15, 2019 as:
in Alaska, and encourage all Alaskans to reflect on the importance of this day and participate in celebratory events with neighbors, friends, and family in their communities.