Gov. Sisolak proclaims June 19 as ‘Juneteenth Day in Nevada;’ flags to be lowered at half staff to honor lives lost to slavery

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Gov. Steve Sisolak

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Governor Steve Sisolak proclaimed that Friday, June 19, 2020, would be known as “Juneteenth Day in Nevada.”

Juneteenth is the nationally recognized and observed by African Americans as a holiday because June 19, 1865, marks the day of the final freeing of enslaved black people in Texas, almost two and a half years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.

“We have achieved great things in this country and in this State,” said Governor Steve Sisolak. “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. Now is the time for us to effect change and renew our commitment to be a better State and nation while denouncing those behaviors. Juneteenth is a perfect opportunity for self reflection and advancement toward true freedom.”

In 2011. Nevada lawmakers made Juneteenth a state day of observance during the legislative session. Assembly Bill 174 (AB 174), was sponsored by Harvey Munford, Dina Neal, Joe Hogan. 

Assemblyman Harvey Munford, who represented District 6 introduced it at the state legislative session.

Read below to read the minutes from the meeting on how the bill was introduced.

In addition to the proclamation, Gov. Sisolak signed an executive order Friday lowering the state flags to half staff today in honor of the lives lost to slavery.

In a news release, the governor’s office said African Americans have played a vital role in growing the State of Nevada into what it is today. Among their countless achievements, to name two, in the North, many Black Nevadans played a crucial role in developing the State’s mining industry, while in the South they teamed with others to build the Hoover Dam.

The release went on to say: For all of the African American communities’ significant contributions to a better world and in acknowledgement that they still face difficult challenges in living in a free and true America and Nevada, celebrating Juneteenth Day is one small step in reaffirming the State’s commitment to help battle these injustices. It is also a reminder of the determination of African Americans to push through extreme adversity and hardship, and ultimately lead to triumph.

The governor’s office sad this proclamation and the State’s leaders are calling on everyone that can, including but not limited to, the news media, educators, and governmental officers to highlight the importance of this day as a day of freedom for all African Americans nationwide, and to acknowledge their significant contributions to both the United States and to the great State of Nevada.

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