“NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim June 19, 2020, as Juneteenth Celebration Day in Michigan. I encourage all citizens in the State of Michigan to participate in the Juneteenth Freedom Festival and celebrate African American history and culture, while continuing to promote diversity, equality and a strong sense of community in our state.”
With those words, Gov. Whitmer issued a certificate of proclamation about observing Juneteenth, which she noted is “the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in America.” The date marks when U.S. Army General Gordon Granger, having arrived in Galveston, Texas, in 1865, read federal orders that anyone in Texas previously enslaved was now free.
In the proclamation, Whitmer declared, “it is imperative that citizens across the state continue to work towards a more equitable and just Michigan, as well as join together to acknowledge a time in our history that carried on the nation's ideals of equality and democracy and celebrate the joys of liberty and justice for every American citizen.”