Today, Mayor Jackie Biskupski proclaimed June 19th as “Juneteenth Day in Salt Lake City.” Juneteenth is observed annually to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States. Below is the official proclamation text:
WHEREAS, on June 19, 1865, Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, delayed for more than two years, to say that the Civil War had ended, and that President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation ensured the enslaved were now free; and
WHEREAS, that great day of jubilation and shock upon realizing this newfound freedom was celebrated with festivities, eventually becoming known as Juneteenth Day; and
WHEREAS, Salt Lake City was founded by pioneers seeking freedom from oppression, but whose early history, with the rest of Utah, includes the enslavement of Native Americans and African Americans, from 1848 and ending in 1862, when Congress prohibited slavery in all U.S territories; and
WHEREAS, Salt Lake City is fully committed to lifting all boats for all peoples, and to honor all who fought so hard to steer our nation truer to our highest ideals; and
WHEREAS, Juneteenth Day serves to celebrate the rich history of African American contributions, to recognize how far we’ve come as a country, to honor those who have suffered and lost their lives from slavery, and to recommit ourselves to the work that remains undone, including ending human trafficking and sex slavery, which is present across the globe.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Jacqueline M. Biskupski, Mayor of Salt Lake City, do hereby proclaim June 19, 2017 as:
Juneteenth Day in Salt Lake City
AND urge all residents to learn from the tragedy of slavery in our society, and to renew our commitment to equality and justice for every human being, and to work diligently in Salt Lake City to create equity, opportunity, and hope for all.
Visit www.Juneteenth.com to learn more about the history of the holiday, how to celebrate, and to find local events.