Friday, June 19, 2015

Wicker, Cochran Commemorate Juneteenth Independence Day with Senate Resolution

From Press Release: Unanimous Resolution Marks End of Slavery, Advocates Greater Understanding

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Thad Cochran, R-Miss., today announced unanimous approval of a Senate resolution they cosponsored to commemorate Juneteenth Independence Day.

The resolution designates June 19, 2015, as “Juneteenth Independence Day” in recognition of June 19, 1865. This date signifies the true end of slavery in the United States, when the end of the Civil War was finally announced in Galveston, Texas, and the full force of the Emancipation Proclamation was felt throughout the nation. Today, celebrations commemorating this historic moment take place across the country, including in Mississippi.

“This resolution highlights an important day in American history and a landmark moment for freedom, which we continue to defend today,” Wicker said. “The 150th anniversary of this commemoration is an especially significant reminder of our commitment to justice and equality.”

“Juneteenth honors our shared past and reminds us of our continued work to create a fair and just nation,” Cochran said. “I appreciate the support in the Senate for recognizing an important anniversary in our history and its influence today.”

This year marks the 150th Juneteenth anniversary. S.Res.201, introduced by Senators John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), was passed unanimously this week.

The resolution states that the U.S. Senate “recognizes that the observance of the end of slavery is part of the history and heritage of the United States,” and “supports the continued nationwide celebration of ‘Juneteenth Independence Day’ to provide an opportunity for the people of the United States to learn more about the past and to better understand the experiences that have shaped the United States."

The measure also acknowledges that 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which advanced the cause of fair elections free from racial discrimination.

S.Res.201: []