Mayor Domenic J. Sarno joined with Robert “Cee” Jackson, a representative of the Brethren Community Foundation and Civilian Community Police Hearing Board member, Eddie Anderson of the Masonic Lodge, and State Representative Bud Williams to bring greetings to the Juneteenth celebration where he presented and read a proclamation declaring Friday, June 19, 2020 as Juneteenth Day in the City of Springfield.
Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers, under the command of Major General Gordon Granger arrived at Galveston, Texas and read federal orders that all previously enslaved people in Texas were free. Although President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation had formally freed all enslaved people almost two and a half years earlier, the Emancipation Proclamation had little impact in Texas, as it was the most remote of the slave states and had a low presence of Union troops, so enforcement of the proclamation had been slow and inconsistent.
One of General Granger’s first orders of business upon arriving in Texas was to read to the people of Texas, General Order Number 3, which stated:
"The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired laborer."
Mayor Sarno stated, “Though we continue to deal with the ongoing COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, it is important to try and continue on with a sense of normalcy, and this includes holding these special events to commemorate and celebrate the historical events of our nation’s history. Although this year’s Juneteenth celebration and proclamation reading won’t have the usual crowd and great event, I know we are all together in spirit.”