Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll has issued the below proclamation in celebration of Juneteenth and invites the community to a Juneteenth Flag Raising event on June 25th, 1:00 p.m., at City Hall, 93 Washington Street.
WHEREAS: President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, declaring the enslaved people in Confederate territories to be free and paving the way for the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution abolishing slavery in this nation; and
WHEREAS: On June 19, 1865 U.S. Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, to deliver the news and announce the American government’s emancipation of enslaved Black peoples there and throughout the nation; and
WHEREAS: The occasion of this date, Juneteenth, has been celebrated and commemorated by Black Americans from that year until now, becoming an official state holiday in Texas in 1980, with the states of Hawaii, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota following thereafter; and,
WHEREAS: The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture has called Juneteenth “our country’s second independence day”; and
WHEREAS: Our nation today is facing a new awakening as to the legacy of systemic racism that pervades and permeates our society, institutions, and systems of law; and
WHEREAS: In our City, our Commonwealth, and our country, the lives of Black residents matter; and
WHEREAS: Salem has a proud history as an inclusive, reflective, and welcoming community to all;NOW, THEREFORE, I, Kimberley Driscoll, Mayor of the City of Salem and on behalf of its residents do proclaim this day, June 19, 2020, to be Juneteenth in Salem, and call upon all residents of Salem to celebrate and reflect on this date’s historic significance accordingly, including by attending or viewing the City’s official Juneteenth Flag Raising, which this year will take place on June 25th, 1:00 p.m., at City Hall, 93 Washington Street. I further request that our state and federal legislators undertake such measures as are necessary to designate Juneteenth as an official state and federal holiday.