CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Clarksville Mayor Joe Pitts has officially proclaimed June 19 as 'Juneteenth' in the city, urging citizens to take part in the celebration of African-American freedom.
"The celebration of Juneteenth reminds us of the precious promises of freedom, equality and opportunity which are at the core of the American Dream," Pitts said. "As the strife of recent weeks in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd has shown, the promise of the American Dream remains unfulfilled for many. I urge citizens to embrace Juneteenth as a good time to build unity in our community and pursue freedom, equality and justice for all."
The name 'Juneteenth' combines the words 'June' and 'nineteenth.' June 19 is the anniversary of the day all slaves in Texas were declared free in 1865, two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was first issued in 1863.
The celebration of Juneteenth began as Jubilee Day in Texas in 1866, with parades and prayer gatherings.