Lee, Cooper sign proclamations recognizing Juneteenth

Posted at 5:38 AM, Jun 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-19 13:43:56-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF/AP) — Both Gov. Bill Lee and Nashville Mayor John Cooper have signed proclamations recognizing Juneteenth, the cultural holiday commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the United States.

Lee said Thursday that he would sign the resolution on Friday. The governor also promised that he would soon appoint members to the state's Capitol Commission in order for the panel to address whether to remove a bust of Forrest displayed prominently between the Senate and House chambers.

The holiday has long commemorated the emancipation of enslaved African Americans but has burst into the national conversation this year after nationwide demonstrations against police brutality and racism.

In addition to the traditional cookouts and readings of the Emancipation Proclamation, Americans were marching Friday, holding sit-ins or car caravan protests. Events were expected to be held in every major American city.

Former President Abraham Lincoln first issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1862, but it wasn’t enforced in many places until after the Civil War ended in April 1865. Word didn’t reach the last enslaved black people until June 19 that year.