Greetings Dearborn Community,
In 1863 President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation and although the document declared that slaves would be free, Lincoln also knew it would take an amendment to the constitution to abolish slavery. That action came when the 13th amendment was passed by Congress on January 31, 1865 and ratified on December 6, 1865.
After the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation some states still continued the practice of slavery. The last Black Americans to be freed from slavery came on June 19, 1865 when U.S. General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas and read General Orders No. 3 stating:
“The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.”
A year later was the start of Juneteenth, the oldest and longest running nationally celebrated commemoration of African American freedom. It is also a day to emphasize education and achievement. In 1979 Texas was the first state to make Juneteenth a state holiday. Over the years many more states did the same, and in 2021 the day became a National Holiday.
On this very special day, I want to acknowledge the many struggles that Black Americans have faced to overcome bigotry and racism. I want to commend all who have fought to correct these injustices, protect civil rights, and ensure equality for all. The many achievements and accomplishments of Black Americans have played an integral part in the success and growth of our country. I applaud their contributions to this great land and their vital role in weaving the fabric of our nation. I join together with all who commemorate this day and wish you a happy day of celebration.
* National Archives- https://www.archives.gov/milestone-documents/13th-amendment
* Juneteenth. Com – https://www.juneteenth.com/