JACKSON, MS (WDAM) - U.S. Senators Thad Cochran, R-Miss., and Roger Wicker, R-Miss., honored the end of slavery by co-sponsoring a resolution to designate June 19, 2016, as "Juneteenth Independence Day."
The Senate unanimously approved the measure, S.Res. 500, authored by Senator John Cornyn, R-Texas.
This date commemorates three significant developments:
- When slavery came to an end in the United States
- When the end of the Civil War was finally announced in Galveston, Texas
- When the full force of the Emancipation Proclamation, issued Jan. 1, 1863, was felt throughout the nation
"Juneteenth recognizes the past and the continued need to work toward a more just nation," Cochran said in an issued statement. "It is good that the Senate is marking the importance of this historic event."
"Juneteenth is a significant day in American history – one that should be commemorated every year," Wicker said in an issued statement. "This day represents our continued work to provide equality and justice for all. It is fitting to honor this milestone of freedom, recognizing our nation's progress."
The resolution states that the U.S. Senate:
Celebrations commemorating this historic moment will take place across the country on June 19 "to honor African-American freedom while encouraging self-development and respect for all cultures," as the measure states.