The Town Council unanimously declared June 19th a Town Holiday to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States. The resolution is below.
Town Hall offices will be closed on Monday, June 20 in observance of the holiday, and the Town Newsletter will go out on Tuesday, June 21.
A RESOLUTION OF THE TOWN COUNCIL OF THE TOWN OF FAIRFAX DECLARING JUNE 19TH (JUNETEENTH) A HOLIDAY IN THE TOWN OF FAIRFAX
WHEREAS, Juneteenth, or Juneteenth Independence Day, commemorates the traditional observance of the end of slavery in the United States and is observed annually on June 19; and
WHEREAS, President Abraham Lincoln declared that “in giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free -honorable alike in what we give, and what we preserve. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth;” and
WHEREAS, on January 1, 1863, President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring that “all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free;” and
WHEREAS, President Lincoln correctly believed slavery to be in violation of the principles of the Declaration of Independence and that its abolition represented a “new birth of freedom” for the United States; and
WHEREAS, more than two years would pass before the news reached African Americans living in Texas, when on June 19, 1865, Union Major General Gordon Granger and his regiment arrived in Galveston and spread the word that slavery had been abolished; and
WHEREAS, the following year, the first official Juneteenth celebrations took place in Texas and have continued across the United States throughout the years; and
WHEREAS, throughout our nation, Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery and is celebrated annually as a historical and memorable tribute to our country’s African American Heritage; and
WHEREAS, Juneteenth is an important opportunity to honor the principles of the Declaration of Independence and celebrate the achievements and contributions African Americans have made, and continue to make, in Fairfax and across the United States; and
WHEREAS, the Town of Fairfax is proud to honor Juneteenth in an effort to promote and enhance the unity and spiritual strength that brought African Americans out of slavery and sustained their dignity and prosperity to the present day;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Town Council of the Town of Fairfax that June 19th, also known as Juneteenth, is hereby declared a holiday in the Town of Fairfax.