Kansas governor signs proclamation recognizing Juneteenth as holiday in state

The Kansas governor made a stop in Wichita on Wednesday at The Kansas African American Museum
Published: Jun. 15, 2022 at 4:25 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Kansas Governor Laura Kelly on Wednesday stopped in Wichita in part to sign a proclamation recognizing Juneteenth in Kansas. The signing, at the Kansas African American Museum, recognizes the nation’s newest federal holiday coming up next Sunday, June 19.

Juneteenth marks the complete emancipation of enslaved people in the U.S. While President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on Jan. 1, 1863, it wasn’t until June 19, 1865, that news of their freedom reached enslaved people in Galveston, Texas.

“That’s a real independence day,” said Wichita City Council member Brandon Johnson. “July 4, you know, many Americans were free, but it wasn’t until then (Juneteenth) that all Americans were free. That’s something we need to continue to think about as we look at equity, what the impacts have been historically and generationally.

With Wednesday’s signing, some local students had the opportunity to highlight the contributions Black people made in U.S. history.

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