WHEREAS, Juneteenth recognizes that on June 19, 1865, almost three years after President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, Union General Gordon Granger announced in Galveston the freedom of all slaves throughout Texas; and
WHEREAS, this announcement ended the last major vestige of slavery in the United States; and
WHEREAS, the Order issued by General Granger read in part: “The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free,” which set off jubilant celebrations of former slaves in Galveston; and
WHEREAS, from those initial celebrations, Juneteenth spread across the State of Texas, and through The 2nd Great Migration from the 1940s to the 1970s, spread Juneteenth commemorations throughout the United States; and
WHEREAS, Juneteenth is the oldest African American holiday, and in 1980, Texas established Juneteenth as a state holiday; and
WHEREAS, this holiday honors the courageous Black Texans who have long struggled for civil rights in the 152 years since General Granger’s proclamation and honors those who continue this struggle today by replacing violence, hate, and bigotry with peace, love, and respect; and
WHEREAS, Williamson County residents value history, ethnic heritage, and culture, thus we recognize these along with the deep roots and rich traditions of African Americans in Williamson County and across Texas; and
WHEREAS, in the spirit of this 152nd Anniversary of Juneteenth Emancipation Day, let us all be reminded that our nation will not achieve its full potential until each of us has been granted unfettered opportunity to reach our own full potential and be the absolute best that we can be.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT PROCLAMED, believed for the first time, that the Williamson County Commissioners Court takes this action and hereby recognizes and proclaims, June 19, 2017 as:
“JUNETEENTH – TEXAS EMANCIPATION DAY”
in Williamson County, and encourages all Williamson County employees and residents to learn more about Juneteenth and support the noble purpose of this day.