On Tuesday June 22 the House passed House Res 546 to recognize the Historical Significance of Juneteenth Independence Day.
While the Emancipation Proclamation issued by President Abraham Lincoln went into effect Jan. 1, 1863, a vast majority of slaves were not freed by Lincoln's decree. For many slaves, especially in Texas, freedom came on June 19, 1865, when Union General Gordon Granger sailed into Galveston, Texas announcing the end of the Civil War and freedom from slavery.
For more than 140 years, Juneteenth Independence Day, also called Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, has commemorated this historic event in the United States and in 17 countries around the world.
Juneteenth Independence Day celebrations honor African American freedom while promoting self-development and respect for all cultures.
Congressman Maffei, who was the Grand Marshal in the Syracuse Juneteenth Parade this past weekend, said: "It was an honor to be a part of such a wonderful celebration this past weekend in Syracuse, and I am pleased that we've passed this resolution. I co-sponsored this resolution because we have a long way to go in understanding our nation's history and making sure we face our collective future with an appreciation our fellow citizens."