HINGHAM — The Hingham Select Board read a proclamation last week declaring June 19 as Juneteenth Independence Day in the Town of Hingham.
Select Board members Bill Ramsey, Joseph Fisher, and Elizabeth Klein took turns reading from the Proclamation at the Board’s June 14 meeting. Each member signed the Proclamation.
Juneteenth recognizes the freedom of enslaved people in the United States. In 2020, Gov. Charlie Baker signed into law June 19 as a state holiday, and last year President Joe Biden signed a bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday.
The reading of the Proclamation can be viewed on the Town’s Harbor Media YouTube page. The reading begins at the 13:35 mark of the video.
The full text of the Proclamation is as follows:
“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 in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as a state holiday; 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, William C. Ramsey, Elizabeth F. Klein, and Joseph M. Fisher, Select Board of Hingham, do hereby proclaim June 19, 2022 to be Juneteenth Independence Day and we urge each citizen to take cognizance of this event and participate fittingly in its observance.”
Several facilities in the Town of Hingham were closed in observance of Juneteenth today, Monday, June 20.