Babin Celebrates Juneteenth 2017
Published 4:43 pm Friday, June 16, 2017
Washington, DC – U.S. Rep. Brian Babin (TX-36) submitted the following statement in the Congressional Record celebrating Juneteenth 2017:
“Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Juneteenth. On June 19 (Juneteenth), 1865, Major General Gordon Granger landed at Galveston Island and issued General Order Number 3 which read, “the people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.” With this action the last American slaves, nearly 250,000 Texans, were freed two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.
“Early Juneteenth celebrations were political rallies to teach freed African Americans about their freedoms, including voting rights. Over the years Juneteenth is celebrated at a wide variety of public events, prayer services, ceremonies, family gatherings, parades, barbecues, rodeos, and sporting events. Modern Juneteenth celebrations encourage self-development and respect for all cultures.
“Today, Juneteenth remains the oldest known celebration of the end of slavery. In 1979 Governor William “Bill” Clements, Jr. signed legislation declaring Juneteenth as a state holiday. By 2016 forty-five of the fifty states in the Union have followed suit recognizing Juneteenth as either a state holiday, ceremonial day, or day of observance.
“Mr. Speaker I rise, with my fellow Texans, to celebrate Juneteenth in the United States House of Representatives.”