GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF NORTH CAROLINA
SESSION LAW 2007-450
HOUSE BILL 1607
AN ACT recognizing juneteenth national freedom day in north carolina.
Whereas, June 19, 1865, is considered the date when the last enslaved Americans were notified of their new legal status by General Gordon Granger, who arrived in Galveston, Texas, and issued General Order Number Three almost two and one-half years after President Lincoln had issued the Emancipation Proclamation; and
Whereas, former slaves in Texas began to observe June 19 as the anniversary of their emancipation and coined the term "Juneteenth"; and
Whereas, Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States and is also known as "Juneteenth National Freedom Day," "Emancipation Day," "Emancipation Celebration," "Freedom Day," "Jun-Jun," "Juneteenth Independence Day"; and
Whereas, Juneteenth commemorates the survival, due to God-given strength and determination, of African-Americans through extreme adversity, hardship, and triumph; and
Whereas, Americans of all colors, creeds, cultures, religions, and countries of origin share in a common love of and respect for freedom, as well as the determination to protect their right to freedom through the democratic institutions by which the tenets of freedom are guaranteed and protected; and
Whereas, the nineteenth of June, along with the fourth of July, completes the cycle of freedom for Americans' Independence Day observance; and
Whereas, Juneteenth is recognized as a state holiday or state holiday observance in many states, including Texas, Oklahoma, Florida, Delaware, Idaho, Alaska, Iowa, California, Wyoming, Missouri, Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, Colorado, Arkansas, Oregon, Kentucky, Michigan, New Mexico, Virginia, Washington, and Tennessee; Now, therefore,
The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:
SECTION 1. When Juneteenth National Freedom Day or a substantially similar holiday becomes a nationally recognized holiday, the General Assembly shall recognize the nineteenth day of June each year as Juneteenth National Freedom Day, to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States and to demonstrate racial reconciliation and healing from the legacy of slavery.
SECTION 2. This act is effective when it becomes law.
In the General Assembly read three times and ratified this the 2nd day of August, 2007.
s/ Beverly E. Perdue
President of the Senate
s/ Joe Hackney
Speaker of the House of Representatives
s/ Michael F. Easley
Approved 11:55 a.m. this 23rd day of August, 2007