June 19, 2013

Statement On Juneteenth 2013

Today, we celebrate the 148th anniversary of Juneteenth, the oldest national celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.  Juneteenth -- or June 19th -- is the day in 1865 when Union soldiers enforced the Emancipation Proclamation and freed all remaining slaves in Texas. 

 

While we have closed the door on this painful chapter of our nation’s history, we cannot allow ourselves to forget.  We owe it to those who endured the brutal institution of slavery – including 100,000 people in Maryland -- and to those who dedicated their lives to ending it. 

 

Today, our children study about Marylanders like Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass, both former slaves who became leaders in the abolition movement. As we celebrate Juneteeth, we remain committed to our nation’s ideals of liberty, equality, and justice.