President Trump, first lady issue statement on Juneteenth, calling slavery 'unimaginable injustice' 

The proclamations also honors the teachings of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

Last Updated:
June 19, 2020 - 12:06pm

President Trump and first lady Melania Trump on Friday acknowledged Juneteenth, a date marking the end of slavery in the county, with a proclamation offering their support for those celebrating the date and calling slavery an “unimaginable injustice.” 

“Juneteenth reminds us of both the unimaginable injustice of slavery and the incomparable joy that must have attended emancipation," the first family said. "It is both a remembrance of a blight on our history and a celebration of our Nation’s unsurpassed ability to triumph over darkness.” 

On June 19, 1865, enslaved African-Americans in Galveston, Texas, were released, and the date is marked across the country with commemorative events. 

"The First Lady and I send our warmest greetings to those celebrating Juneteenth this year," the proclamation also states. “On this day 155 years ago, African Americans in Texas first heard the righteous and long-overdue words of General Order Number 3: ‘All slaves are free.’ These words confirmed for still-enslaved people in Texas that the Union Army would enforce and defend their freedom, announced nearly three years earlier by President Abraham Lincoln in his Emancipation Proclamation.”

Trump has planned to hold his first in-person reelection rally on Juneteenth but postponed the event in Tulsa, Oklahoma, until Saturday night. 

Texas GOP Sen. John Cornyn on Thursday announced that he will introduce a bill to make Juneteenth a federal holiday.

The White House declaration also recognized the teaching of the late-civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and stated, “This Juneteenth, we commit, as one Nation, to live true to our highest ideals and to build always toward a freer, stronger country that values the dignity and boundless potential of all Americans.”


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