Unity Group petitions to make Juneteenth legal holiday

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — Unity Group of Chattanooga started a petition to make Juneteenth a legal holiday. Currently, it is only a “day of special observance,” according to the group.

Unity Group said a bill to make this change happen has been introduced in the Tennessee General Assembly.

The bill is SB 0269 and HB 0317.

Juneteenth is recognized on June 19.

Unity Group of Chattanooga made this statement on the petition:

Juneteenth National Independence Day is the oldest and most recognized African-American holiday observance in the United States. Juneteenth ( also Freedom Day), the “19th of June”, is the date when Union General Gordon Granger and thousands of Union soldiers, many of them United States Colored Troops, arrived in Galveston, Texas in 1865. General Granger would issue General Order Number 3 which informed the tens of thousands then held in bondage that they were in fact free. It represents the first day that the “new birth of freedom” professed by the Emancipation Proclamation and later enshrined in the 13th Amendment would become self-evident for all Americans.

They are asking people to sign the petition in support of the legislation.

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