Press Release

June 18, 2014
Cardin Statement on Juneteenth, A Celebration of Freedom for African Americans

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) is a cosponsor of S.Res.474 , which was approved unanimously by the Senate and commemorates Juneteenth 2014. The resolution includes specific recognition of Frederick Douglass who was born in the State of Maryland in 1818, escaped from slavery and became a leading writer, orator, publisher, and one of the United States’ most influential advocates for abolitionism and the equality of all people.


“On this 149th anniversary of Juneteenth, America celebrates the end of slavery in the United States.  Juneteenth – or June 19th – is the day in 1865 when Major General Gordon Granger and Union soldiers enforced ‘General Order No. 3’, finally freeing the remaining slaves in the United States. 


“Thanks to the hard work of Americans committed to living up to our highest ideals, we have come a long way since that first Juneteenth.  This is a time for joy but also reflection for African Americans. We should use our collective history, and days like Juneteenth, to grow, learn and become more connected to one another. We owe it to those who endured the brutal institution of slavery and to those who dedicated their lives to ending such an injustice. 


“Today, our children study Marylanders like Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass, both former slaves who helped deliver freedom to millions. As we observe Juneteenth in Maryland and across the country, we also reflect on the reality that human bondage has not been abolished worldwide. The continued existence of slavery anywhere is an affront to the progress made since that first Juneteenth and a cause for action.”