By Brenda Crowell
Article 10 on the warrant for the Annual Town Meeting will, if approved, designate June 19 as a legal holiday for all town employees, personnel, and union members. Milford’s Select Board proposed the article, and Town Meeting members will vote on it during the May 23 meeting.
Juneteenth, as the date is popularly known, is the observance of African American Emancipation Day. Per Juneteenth.Com, “Today, Juneteenth commemorates African American freedom and emphasizes education and achievement.”
On June 19, 1865, in Galveston, Texas, Major General Gordon Granger of the Union Army issued General Order No. 3, which began, “The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired laborer.”
Texas was the final Confederate state to have institutional slavery.
This year will mark the 157th anniversary of Juneteenth. Per Juneteenth.Com, this makes it “the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.”
Juneteenth, which was recognized as a federal holiday last year, is now celebrated across the United States and has spread to other areas of the world as well.