SESSION LAW 2007-450




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