22nd Alaska State Legislature
Sponsor Statement for HB 100
An Act establishing the third Saturday of each June as Juneteenth Day.
Last Updated: February 1, 2001
Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration of the ending of slavery. From it's Galveston, Texas origin in 1865, the observance of June 19th as the African American Emancipation Day has spread across the United States and beyond.
Today Juneteenth commemorates African American freedom and emphasizes education and achievement. It is a day, a week, and in some areas a month marked with celebrations, guest speakers, picnics and family gatherings. It is a time for reflection and rejoicing. It is a time for assessment, self-improvement, and for planning the future. In cities across the country, people of all races, nationalities and religions are joining hands to truthfully acknowledge a period in our history that shaped and continues to influence our society today. Only when sensitized to the conditions and experiences of others, then can we make significant and lasting improvements in our society.
Juneteenth Day has been celebrated in Anchorage on the Park strip for the past 8 years. Other states have recognized the value of celebrating this day as a nationally recognized holiday. This would be a non-paid holiday on the third Saturday of each June as the official day, and would be listed on the calendar. I respectfully urge your support in this effort of acknowledging and showing the appreciation of African American history and culture by passage of HB 100.
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