HINGHAM — The Hingham Select Board last week read a proclamation 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 the proclamation at the June 14 board meeting. Each member signed the Proclamation.
Juneteenth recognizes the freedom of slaves in the United States. In 2020, Governor Charlie Baker signed into law June 19 as a statutory holiday, and last year President Joe Biden signed a bill making June 19 a federal holiday.
The reading of the Proclamation can be viewed on the Harbor Media YouTube page. Playback begins at 1:35 p.m. of the video.
The full text of the Proclamation is as follows:
“As, 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 the news that the Civil War was over and the slaves were now free; and
As Major General Granger announced to the residents of Texas, “The people of Texas are informed that, pursuant to a proclamation of the Executive Branch of the United States, all slaves are free. It is an absolute equality of personal rights and property rights, between former masters and slaves and the link existing until now between them, becomes that between boss and employee”; and,
Whereas the first celebration of Juneteenth 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 slaves; and,
Whereas June 19 is now designated as a public holiday in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; and,
As on this day, in hundreds of communities across the country, people of all races, nationalities and religions join hands in acknowledging 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 June 19 Independence Day and urge every citizen to take note of this event and participate as it should be in respecting it.”
Several facilities in the town of Hingham have been closed on the occasion of June 19 today, Monday, June 20.