Town of Hingham, Massachusetts
Juneteenth Independence Day Proclamation
Whereas, on June 19, 1865, two and a half years after President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the Civil War had ended and that enslaved people were now free; and
Whereas, Major General Granger announced to the residents of Texas: “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property, between former masters and slaves and the connection heretofore existing between them, becomes that between employer and hired labor”; and,
Whereas, the first Juneteenth celebration was held in Texas in 1866. Since then, Juneteenth has been celebrated in communities across the United States, providing an opportunity to mark the emancipation of enslaved people; and,
Whereas, June 19th is now designated as a state holiday in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and a federal holiday in the United States; and,
Whereas, on this day, in hundreds of communities across the country, people of all races, nationalities and religions join hands to acknowledge the painful history and lasting, systemic impact of slavery and racial injustice in the United States. Juneteenth is an opportunity to recommit ourselves to the goal of creating a more equal and just society, an effort that continues today.
Now, therefore we, Elizabeth F. Klein, Joseph M. Fisher, and William C. Ramsey, Select Board of Hingham, do hereby proclaim June 19, 2023 to be
JUNETEENTH INDEPENDENCE DAY
and we urge each citizen to take cognizance of this event and participate fittingly in its observance.