Allender proclaims Saturday as Juneteenth in Rapid City, Noem says state workers will have Friday off

Allender: "'None Are Free, Until All Are Free' should hold special meaning to all Americans"

RAPID CITY, S.D. —  For the second year in a row, Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender issued a proclamation recognizing June 19 as Juneteenth Day.

Juneteenth is recognized nationally, and commemorates the emancipation of African Americans from slavery, along with other major historical events, including:

  • June 19, 1862 – President Abraham Lincoln signs legislation prohibiting slavery in the federal territories
  • January 1, 1863 – President Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation, saying “slaves within any State, or designated part of a State…in rebellion, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.”
  • June 19, 1865 – More than two months after Robert E. Lee’s surrender, Union soldiers led by Major General Gordon Granger arrive in Galveston, Texas, with news the Civil War had ended and issuing General Order #3 that the enslaved were now free.
  • June 19, 1964 – the United States Senate ends an 83-day filibuster on the Civil Rights Bill of 1964, leading to Senate passage, and President Lyndon Johnson’s signature of the landmark legislation on July 2, 1964.

0616 Juneteenth Adobejpg 1President Biden signed legislation Thursday making June 19 a federal holiday. South Dakota is the only state without legislation passed to officially recognize Juneteenth in some form.

“Americans of all colors, creeds, cultures, religions and countries-of-origin share in a common love of and respect for ‘freedom’, as well as a mutual determination to protect the right to freedom through democratic institutions established by the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments to the Constitution,” Mayor Allender said.  “These ‘tenets of freedom’ were appropriated but not applied fairly to all Americans as a whole, however, the celebration of Juneteenth continued regardless.”

Mayor Allender will share the proclamation at the beginning of Monday night’s City Council meeting.

Governor Kristi Noem also announced that state workers will observe the holiday on Friday, saying:

“‘All men are created equal.’ That is America’s foundational ideal,” said Governor Kristi Noem. “Juneteenth celebrates an important day when we came closer to making that ideal a reality for all Americans, regardless of race. I hope state employees take the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful South Dakota weather on their day off.”

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