(Note: This release was originally published on June 18. It was re-published on July 14.)
Norristown Municipal Council Thursday afternoon announced it has declared Juneteenth (June 19) a holiday in the municipality.
Municipal Hall and offices will be closed in observance of the holiday.
Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. Juneteenth originated in Galveston, Texas, in 1865; and, the observance of June 19 as the African American Emancipation Day has spread across the United States and throughout the world.
Today Juneteenth commemorates African American freedom and emphasizes education and achievement. It is a day, a week, and in some areas a month marked with celebrations, guest speakers, picnics and family gatherings. It is a time for reflection and rejoicing. It is a time for assessment, self-improvement and for planning the future. Its growing popularity signifies a level of maturity and dignity in our country that is increasing in pace. In cities across the country, people of all races, nationalities and religions are come together to truthfully acknowledge a period in our history that shaped and continues to influence our society today.
“The Council is proud to recognize the official ending of the most shameful era in America’s history,” said Council President Derrick Perry.