S.C.R. NO.














recognizing Juneteenth National Freedom Day on June 19 of each year.



     WHEREAS, more than one hundred thirty years old, Juneteenth National Freedom Day is the oldest and only African-American holiday observance in the United States; and


     WHEREAS, also known as Emancipation Day, Emancipation Celebration, Freedom Day, Jun-Jun, and Juneteenth, Juneteenth National Freedom Day commemorates the strong survival instinct of African-Americans who were first brought to this country stacked in the bottom of slave ships in a month-long journey across the Atlantic Ocean known as the Middle Passage; and


     WHEREAS, approximately eleven and one-half million African-Americans survived the voyage to the New World - the number that died is likely greater - only to be subjected to whipping, castration, branding, and rape, and forced to submit to slavery for more than two hundred years after arrival in the United States; and


     WHEREAS, events in the history of the United States that led to the Civil War of 1861 centered around sectional differences between the North and South that were based on the economic and social divergence caused by the existence of slavery; and


     WHEREAS, Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated as President of the United States in 1861, and as President, Lincoln believed and stated that the paramount object of the Civil War was to save the Union rather than save or destroy slavery; and


     WHEREAS, yet Lincoln also stated his wish that all men everywhere could be free, thus adding to a growing anticipation by slaves that their ultimate liberation was at hand; and


     WHEREAS, in 1862, the first clear sign that the end of slavery was imminent came when laws abolishing slavery in the territories of Oklahoma, Nebraska, Colorado, and New Mexico were passed; and


     WHEREAS, in September of that same year, President Lincoln warned the eleven rebellious Confederate States that if they did not return to the Union by January 1, 1863, he would declare their slaves forever free via the celebrated Emancipated Proclamation; and


     WHEREAS, enforcement of the Emancipation Proclamation, however, only occurred in Confederate States once under Union Army control and Congress subsequently passed the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution on January 31, 1865, abolishing slavery throughout the United States and its territories; and


     WHEREAS, news of this action reached the states at different times, and it was not until June 19, 1865, that the message of freedom reached the slaves in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, and California; and


     WHEREAS, spontaneous celebrations erupted throughout the country when African-Americans learned of their freedom; and


     WHEREAS, Juneteenth National Freedom Day celebrates the abolishment of slavery with excitement and great joy and is a reminder to all Americans of the status and importance of Americans of African descent as American citizens; now, therefore,


     BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Twenty-fifth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2010, the House of Representatives concurring, that the Hawaii State Legislature recognizes Juneteenth National Freedom Day on June 19 of each year; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a certified copy of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Governor.









Report Title: 

Juneteenth National Freedom Day; June 19