"By observing this day, our nation will honor the role that Juneteenth has played in African-American culture in Texas and
throughout the country, and it will remind us that in America, we are all blessed to live in freedom," Hutchison stated in a
Already, 41 U.S. states recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday, and Maryland currently has legislation pending that could
make it the 42nd state,
Ronald V. Myers Sr., founder and chairman of the National Juneteenth Holiday Campaign.
"We're looking for this being the year for Juneteenth to be recognized as a national holiday observance in America, like
Flag Day and Patriot Day," Myers said. "America needs healing from the legacy of enslavement."
Juneteenth commemorates the news on June 19, 1865, that slaves in Texas were free. The general order, read on the steps of
Ashton Villa at 2328 Broadway in Galveston, came almost three years after
Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation
Proclamation on Sept. 22, 1862.