Gov. Steve Sisolak proclaimed Friday, June 19, 2020, would be “Juneteenth Day in Nevada.”
“Whereas Juneteenth, or June 19, 1865, is nationally recognized as the date when freedom was announced to some of the last slaves in America by General Gordon Granger, who arrived in Galveston, Texas, and issued General Order Number Three,” the proclamation states.
“We have achieved great things in this country and in this state,” Sisolak said. “However, there is still much work to be done in the fight for equality. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are universal maxims granted to all Americans upon their birth. Unfortunately, for some races, those axioms are harder to live by and enjoy due to hate, racism and bigotry.”
Sisolak’s proclamation noted that African-Americans have been in Nevada at least since 1866, when they were documented as business and property owners in Virginia City. It also noted the participation by African-Americans on the team that built Hoover Dam.
The proclamation went on to hope knowledge of Juneteenth and its significance will be spread to those unfamiliar with the observance.
“The state of Nevada calls upon news media, educators and governmental officers to bring attention to the historical significance of the day when the last slaves in the United States were emancipated and the significant contributions of African-Americans to the Silver State and the United States of America. Now, therefore, I, Steve Sisolak, governor of the state of Nevada, do hereby proclaim June 19, 2020, as Juneteenth Day in Nevada,” the proclamation concluded.
In addition to the proclamation, Sisolak signed an executive order lowering the state flags to half-staff in honor of the lives lost to slavery.