Sen. Harold Metts Dr. Ronald Myers
Rhode Island Becomes the 42nd State to
Recognize Juneteenth as a State Holiday
Sen. Harold Metts Champions
Rhode Island Juneteenth Legislation
(Providence, RI) - Rhode Island is now the 42nd state to recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday or special day of observance with the passage of legislation sponsored by state senator Harold Metts. The historic 2013 legislation coincides with the 150th year celebration of the issuing of the
Juneteenth, or the "19th of June", recognizes June 19, 1865, in Galveston, TX, when Union General Gordon Granger announced freedom for all slaves in the last southern state in rebellion following the end of the Civil War. This occurred more than two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Abraham Lincoln. Upon the reading of General Order #3 by General Granger, the former slaves celebrated jubilantly, establishing America's second Independence Day Celebration and the oldest African American holiday observance.
The legislatures in only eight states remain to pass legislation to recognize Juneteenth. These states are Arizona, Hawaii, Maryland, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota and Utah.