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Title II SOVEREIGNTY, JURISDICTION AND EMBLEMS

  Chapter 9back to chapter 9

  9.161.  Emancipation Day established. — 1.  June nineteenth, known as Juneteenth, of each year shall be known and is designated as "Emancipation Day" to provide an opportunity for the people of Missouri to reflect upon the United States of America's passion for freedom as exemplified in the Constitution of the United States, the Bill of Rights, and the Emancipation Proclamation, and to reflect upon the significance and particularity of the Emancipation Proclamation and its role in ending slavery in the United States.  To celebrate that Juneteenth commemorates the spirit and quest of African-American freedom emphasizing education, art, and intellectual achievement, through reflection, rejoicing, and manifestation of a more substantive economic and just citizenry, the people of the state, offices of government, and all educational, commercial, political, civic, religious, and fraternal organizations in the state are requested to devote some part of the day to remember the proclamation that began the full realization for all people in the United States of the self-evident truth, as stated in the Declaration of Independence of the United States, that all men are created equal, by:

  (1)  Celebrating the abolishment of slavery, accomplished by ratification of the thirteenth amendment to the Constitution of the United States, as the former slaves celebrated on June 19, 1865, upon learning the message of freedom from Major General Gordon Granger of the Union Army in Galveston, Texas, which celebration, known as "Juneteenth", is the oldest known celebration of the ending of slavery; and

  (2)  Reaffirming their commitment to achieving equal justice and opportunity for all citizens.

  2.  There is hereby established the "Missouri Juneteenth Heritage and Jazz Festival and Memorial".  Any funds appropriated by the general assembly for this event shall be used to establish a statewide festival and monument to commemorate the struggles and hardships endured by those who had been enslaved.

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(L. 2003 H.B. 640)


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