|ACT OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY||2007-2008|
NO. 201. AN ACT ESTABLISHING JUNETEENTH NATIONAL FREEDOM DAY.
It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:
Sec. 1. FINDINGS
The general assembly finds that:
(1) For more than 137 years, Juneteenth National Freedom Day has been the most recognized African-American holiday observance in the United States and is also known by other names, including “Emancipation Day,” “Freedom Day,” and “Jun-Jun.”
(2) This special observance commemorates the issuance of General Order No. 3 that Union Major General Gordon Granger read publicly in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865 declaring “that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States (the Emancipation Proclamation that President Abraham Lincoln issued on January 1, 1863), all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves . . .”
(3) This observance commemorates the “strength and determination of African-Americans who were first brought to this country stacked in the bottom of slave ships in a month’s long journey across the Atlantic Ocean known as the Middle Passage.”
(4) In recent years, there has been a resurgence of Juneteenth festivities on both the state and national levels, and this important celebration of African‑American freedom deserves designation as a commemorative state holiday in Vermont in order to remember the injustices that African-Americans endured during their enslavement and to commemorate their emancipation.
Sec. 2. 1 V.S.A. § 375 is added to read:
§ 375. JUNETEENTH
The third Saturday of the month of June is designated as “Juneteenth National Freedom Day.”
Approved: June 10, 2008
The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street