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West Memphis celebrates Juneteenth

City makes first official observation commemorating the end of slavery

City makes first official observation commemorating the end of slavery

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City makes first official observation commemorating the end of slavery

By JOHN RECH

[email protected]

President Joe Biden signed legislation last Thursday making Juneteenth a national holiday and the West Memphis city council unanimously followed suit the same day during its evening meeting approving an ordinance drafted by Mayor Marco McClendon.

The country recognized the practical end of slavery as Union troops under Maj. General Gordon Granger finally arrived in Galveston, Texas announcing the Emancipation Proclamation and freeing the 250,000 enslaved in that state on June 19, 1865. The action came a year and a half after Abraham Lincoln issued the New Year’s Day proclamation in 1863 and two months after the Confederate surrender at Appomattox on April 9, 1865.

The new June 19 holiday became the first new federal holiday since the establishment of another civil rights landmark, the Martin Luther king, Jr. Day in 1983.

The city marked its inaugural Juneteenth on Saturday with a parade from the west side to the east side down Jackson Avenue culminating with a party in Franklin Park. Fraternities

See JUNETEENTH, page A3

Wonder City Club director Carolyn Anthony took center stage to kick off the first-ever Juneteenth Holiday at Franklin Park. The park next door to the club served as the welcoming ground for parade marchers at the first official national and city June 19 holiday remembering the emancipation of Texas slaves in 1865, marking the end of slavery.

Photo by John Rech

A splendidly dressed West Memphis Mayor Marco McClendon told a crowd of 250 people that city council had unanimously followed suit with the federal government declaring June 19 as a city holiday commemorating the end of slavery in 1865. A parade through the city culminated with a celebration in Franklin park on Saturday just two days after the holiday passed both the U.S. congress and the City Council. McClendon wrote and the presented the city’s Juneteenth holiday legislation to city council.

Photo by John Rech JUNETEENTH

From page A1

and Sororities, civic and affinity groups set up awnings around the playground and the city portable stage to cookout and celebrate the milestone event. Mayor Marco McClendon reported to the crowd of 250 a unanimous city council vote establishing June 19 as the West Memphis holiday coinciding with the new Juneteenth federal holiday.

“This is a day that our people suffered for, a day that our people died for,” said McClendon. “We’re going to continue. We are going to continue to make this big, and we are going to continue to make this great. You all deserve it, and those that died before us deserve it. They deserve to be recognized and remembered because it was their contributions that helped make America as great as it is. So, West Memphis, take pride in this day, stand tall. You all made this happen. Today is officially Juneteenth in West Memphis. Today also marks what you all are doing in and for the community.”

Everybody gonna eat! Omega men packed chicken legs on the grill as part of their celebration of Juneteenth on Saturday in Franklin Park.

Photos by John Rech

Juneteenth proponent Vicki Moore provided a history for the new holiday to those on hand a Franklin Park in West Memphis on Saturday. She told the crowd she had been talking up her favorite holiday ever since she could remember.

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Posted on

West Memphis celebrates Juneteenth

City makes first official observation commemorating the end of slavery

City makes first official observation commemorating the end of slavery

Share

City makes first official observation commemorating the end of slavery

By JOHN RECH

[email protected]

President Joe Biden signed legislation last Thursday making Juneteenth a national holiday and the West Memphis city council unanimously followed suit the same day during its evening meeting approving an ordinance drafted by Mayor Marco McClendon.

The country recognized the practical end of slavery as Union troops under Maj. General Gordon Granger finally arrived in Galveston, Texas announcing the Emancipation Proclamation and freeing the 250,000 enslaved in that state on June 19, 1865. The action came a year and a half after Abraham Lincoln issued the New Year’s Day proclamation in 1863 and two months after the Confederate surrender at Appomattox on April 9, 1865.

The new June 19 holiday became the first new federal holiday since the establishment of another civil rights landmark, the Martin Luther king, Jr. Day in 1983.

The city marked its inaugural Juneteenth on Saturday with a parade from the west side to the east side down Jackson Avenue culminating with a party in Franklin Park. Fraternities

See JUNETEENTH, page A3

Wonder City Club director Carolyn Anthony took center stage to kick off the first-ever Juneteenth Holiday at Franklin Park. The park next door to the club served as the welcoming ground for parade marchers at the first official national and city June 19 holiday remembering the emancipation of Texas slaves in 1865, marking the end of slavery.

Photo by John Rech

A splendidly dressed West Memphis Mayor Marco McClendon told a crowd of 250 people that city council had unanimously followed suit with the federal government declaring June 19 as a city holiday commemorating the end of slavery in 1865. A parade through the city culminated with a celebration in Franklin park on Saturday just two days after the holiday passed both the U.S. congress and the City Council. McClendon wrote and the presented the city’s Juneteenth holiday legislation to city council.

Photo by John Rech JUNETEENTH

From page A1

and Sororities, civic and affinity groups set up awnings around the playground and the city portable stage to cookout and celebrate the milestone event. Mayor Marco McClendon reported to the crowd of 250 a unanimous city council vote establishing June 19 as the West Memphis holiday coinciding with the new Juneteenth federal holiday.

“This is a day that our people suffered for, a day that our people died for,” said McClendon. “We’re going to continue. We are going to continue to make this big, and we are going to continue to make this great. You all deserve it, and those that died before us deserve it. They deserve to be recognized and remembered because it was their contributions that helped make America as great as it is. So, West Memphis, take pride in this day, stand tall. You all made this happen. Today is officially Juneteenth in West Memphis. Today also marks what you all are doing in and for the community.”

Everybody gonna eat! Omega men packed chicken legs on the grill as part of their celebration of Juneteenth on Saturday in Franklin Park.

Photos by John Rech

Juneteenth proponent Vicki Moore provided a history for the new holiday to those on hand a Franklin Park in West Memphis on Saturday. She told the crowd she had been talking up her favorite holiday ever since she could remember.

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Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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