National Juneteenth Observance Foundation
                         Celebration of Freedom

                         

California
California recognizes Juneteenth as a State Holiday or State Holiday Observance through a Bill, House Resolution, Senate Resolution or Joint Resolution

Rep. John Longville (*contact NJOF Vice-Chairman, John Thompson -   909-268-7104)(passed 2002)

BILL NUMBER: SB 812	CHAPTERED
	BILL TEXT

	CHAPTER  156
	FILED WITH SECRETARY OF STATE  AUGUST 1, 2003
	APPROVED BY GOVERNOR  JULY 31, 2003
	PASSED THE SENATE  JULY 21, 2003
	PASSED THE ASSEMBLY  JULY 14, 2003
	AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY  JULY 8, 2003
	AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY  JUNE 23, 2003

INTRODUCED BY   Senator Vincent
   (Coauthors:  Assembly Members Calderon, Canciamilla, Chavez, Cohn,
Frommer, Harman, Jerome Horton, Levine, Longville, Liu, Maddox,
McCarthy, Negrete McLeod, Nunez, Oropeza, Reyes, Ridley-Thomas,
Samuelian, Strickland, Wesson, Wiggins, and Yee)

                        FEBRUARY 21, 2003

   An act to add Section 6719 to, and to repeal Section 6718 of, the
Government Code, and to repeal Section 1 of Chapter 155 of the
Statutes of 2002, relating to Juneteenth National Freedom Day.


	LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


   SB 812, Vincent.  Juneteenth National Freedom Day.
   Existing law requires the Governor to proclaim the 3rd Saturday in
June as "Juneteenth National Freedom Day:  A day of observance."
   This bill would recast this requirement and require the Governor
to proclaim the 3rd Saturday in June each year as "Juneteenth
National Freedom Day:  A day of observance," and would urge all
Californians to join in celebrating this day to honor and reflect on
the significant roles that African-Americans have played in the
history of the United States and how they have enriched society
through their steadfast commitment to promoting freedom, brotherhood,
and equality.


THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:


  SECTION 1.  The Legislature hereby finds and declares all of the
following:
   (a) Juneteenth National Freedom Day, also known as "Emancipation
Day," "Emancipation Celebration," "Freedom Day," "Jun-Jun," and
"Juneteenth," was first observed 136 years ago and is the oldest
African-American holiday observance in the United States.
   (b) Juneteenth National Freedom Day commemorates the strong
survival instinct of African-Americans who were first brought to this
country as slaves stacked in the bottom of sailing ships in a
monthlong journey across the Atlantic Ocean known as the "Middle
Passage".
   (c) Events in the history of the United States that led to the
start of the Civil War in 1861 focused on regional differences
between the North and the South that were based on the economic and
social divergence caused by the existence of slavery.  In 1862, the
first clear signs that the end of slavery was imminent appeared when
laws abolishing slavery were adopted in the territories of Oklahoma,
Nebraska, Colorado, and New Mexico.
   (d) On September 22, 1862, President Lincoln issued the celebrated
Emancipation Proclamation, warning the rebellious Confederate States
that he would declare their slaves "forever free" if those states
did not return to the Union by January 1, 1863.  Enforcement of the
Emancipation Proclamation occurred only in Confederate States that
were under Union Army control.
   (e) Prior to the end of the Civil War, on January 31, 1865,
Congress passed the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States
Constitution, which abolished slavery throughout the United States
and its territories.  Spontaneous celebration erupted throughout the
country when African-Americans learned of their freedom.  Juneteenth,
or June 19, 1865, is considered the date when the last slaves in
America were freed by General Gordon Granger who rode into Galveston,
Texas, and issued General Order No. 3, almost two and one-half years
after President Lincoln had issued the Emancipation Proclamation.
   (f) Observance of Juneteenth National Freedom Day, a reminder of
emancipation, spread from Texas to the neighboring States of
Louisiana, Arkansas, and Oklahoma, as well as to the States of
Alabama, Florida, and California, where many African-American Texans
had migrated.  Juneteenth National Freedom Day symbolizes freedom,
celebrates the abolishment of slavery, and reminds all Americans of
the significant contributions of African-Americans to our society.
   (g) A growing number of American and African-American cultural
institutions have sponsored Juneteenth cultural events designed to
make all Americans aware of this celebration, including the
Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History in
Washington, DC, the Chicago Historical Society, the Black Archives of
Mid-America, Inc., in Kansas City, Missouri, the Los Angeles
Cultural Center, the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village in
Detroit, the Museum of African American Life and Culture in Dallas,
Juneteenth America, Inc., of Ontario, California, and the National
Juneteenth Observance Foundation.  Juneteenth celebrations are a
tribute to those African-Americans who fought so long for freedom and
worked so hard to make the dream of equality a reality.
  SEC. 2.  Section 6718 of the Government Code is repealed.
  SEC. 3.  Section 6719 is added to the Government Code, to read:
   6719.  The Governor shall proclaim the third Saturday in June of
each year to be known as "Juneteenth National Freedom Day:  A day of
observance," to urge all Californians in celebrating this day to
honor and reflect on the significant roles that African-Americans
have played in the history of the United States and how
African-Americans have enriched society through their steadfast
commitment to promoting freedom, brotherhood, and equality.
  SEC. 4.  Section 1 of Chapter 155 of the Statutes of 2002 is
repealed.