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H.J.R. 20







Chief Sponsor: Duane E. Bourdeaux

Senate Sponsor: ____________

             9      LONG TITLE
             10      General Description:
             11          This joint resolution of the Legislature designates June 17, 2006 as Juneteenth
             12      Independence Day in Utah.
             13      Highlighted Provisions:
             14          This resolution:
             15          .    designates June 17, 2006 as Juneteenth Independence Day in Utah to commemorate
             16      the proclamation of freedom for all slaves in the South in 1865.
             17      Special Clauses:
             18          None
             20      Be it resolved by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             21          WHEREAS, America's Independence Day movement, initiated by the Declaration of
             22      Independence and the "4th of July" in 1776, did not include the enslaved descendants of
             23      African-Americans, nor were they recognized as fully human beings;
             24          WHEREAS, Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated as President of the United States in
             25      1861, and as President Lincoln believed and stated that the paramount object of the Civil War
             26      was to save the Union rather than save or destroy slavery;
             27          WHEREAS, President Lincoln had also stated his wish was that all men everywhere

             28      could be free, thus adding to a growing anticipation by slaves that their ultimate liberation was
             29      at hand;
             30          WHEREAS, in 1862, the first clear signs that the end of slavery was imminent came
             31      when laws abolishing slavery in the territories of Oklahoma, Nebraska, Colorado, and New
             32      Mexico were passed;
             33          WHEREAS, in September of that same year, President Lincoln warned 11 rebellious
             34      Confederate states that if they did not return to the Union by January 1, 1863, he would declare
             35      their slaves forever free via the celebrated Emancipation Proclamation;
             36          WHEREAS, freedom from slavery was initiated by the enforcement of the
             37      Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, and formally announced by Union General
             38      Gordon Granger in Galveston, Texas on the "19th of June," 1865, through the reading of
             39      General Order No. 3, to the last group of slaves in bondage, creating America's second
             40      Independence Day Celebration and the oldest African-American holiday observance, the "19th
             41      of June," Juneteenth Independence Day;
             42          WHEREAS, spontaneous celebrations erupted throughout the country when
             43      African-Americans learned of their freedom, which have continued, and demonstrate the
             44      significance and status of Americans of African descent;
             45          WHEREAS, Juneteenth commemorates the day freedom was proclaimed to all slaves in
             46      the South by Union General Granger, on June 19, 1865, in Galveston, Texas, more than two
             47      and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation by President Lincoln;
             48          WHEREAS, in 1997, the 105th Congress of the United States passed Senate Joint
             49      Resolution 11 and House Joint Resolution 56, officially recognizing Juneteenth Independence
             50      Day in America;
             51          WHEREAS, for the first time in over 130 years of annual celebration, Juneteenth has
             52      finally been "officially recognized" as Juneteenth Independence Day in America by the
             53      President and Congress of the United States;
             54          WHEREAS, Utah has celebrated the rich history and heritage of African-Americans
             55      through the Annual Juneteenth Day Celebration for over 130 years;
             56          WHEREAS, the Project Success Coalition has kept Juneteenth Independence Day alive
             57      by sponsoring a statewide celebration for 16 years that embraces the rich heritage and
             58      contributions of Blacks in Utah and the world, and serves on the Board of the National

             59      Juneteenth Observance Foundation;
             60          WHEREAS, Americans of all colors, creeds, cultures, religions, and countries of origin
             61      share in a common love of and respect for "freedom," as well as a determination to protect their
             62      right to freedom through democratic institutions, by which the "tenets of freedom" are
             63      guaranteed and protected;
             64          WHEREAS, the "19th of June" or Juneteenth Independence Day, along with the "4th of
             65      July," completes the "cycle of freedom" for America's Independence Day observances; and
             66          WHEREAS, "Until All are Free, None are Free" is an oft repeated maxim that can be
             67      used to highlight the significance of the end of the era of slavery in the United States:
             68          NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislature of the state of Utah
             69      designates the third Saturday in June, June 17, 2006, as Juneteenth Independence Day in Utah.
             70          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution be sent to the Project
             71      Success Coalition and the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation.

Legislative Review Note
    as of 1-26-06 11:20 AM

Based on a limited legal review, this legislation has not been determined to have a high
probability of being held unconstitutional.

Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel

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