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Republican Party of Kentucky releases statement commemorating Juneteenth

FILE - This Feb. 18, 2005, file photo shows the original Emancipation Proclamation on display in the Rotunda of the National Archives in Washington. President Abraham Lincoln first issued the Emancipation Proclamation declaring all slaves free in Confederate territory on Sept. 22, 1862. Juneteenth, the oldest holiday that commemorates the ending of slavery in the United States, originated 155 years ago. 
 Celebrations have typically included parades, barbecues, concerts and readings of the Emancipation Proclamation. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
FILE - This Feb. 18, 2005, file photo shows the original Emancipation Proclamation on display in the Rotunda of the National Archives in Washington. President Abraham Lincoln first issued the Emancipation Proclamation declaring all slaves free in Confederate territory on Sept. 22, 1862. Juneteenth, the oldest holiday that commemorates the ending of slavery in the United States, originated 155 years ago. Celebrations have typically included parades, barbecues, concerts and readings of the Emancipation Proclamation. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)(Evan Vucci | AP)
Published: Jun. 19, 2020 at 10:42 AM CDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. – Republican Party of Kentucky Chairman Mac Brown released the following statement Friday commemorating Juneteenth:

“Today we join in commemorating the final end of slavery in America at the end of the Civil War. When Kentucky’s native son President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, he took an important step towards ending slavery in our country. Juneteenth celebrates the final end of this unjust and cruel practice in the United States more than two years later in 1865.

“As the birthplace of President Lincoln, Kentucky has a special responsibility to lead the way in building a just society that treats all as equals. We join Americans of all races, religions, and backgrounds in celebrating this important milestone, and recommitting ourselves to working together to build a better and more just society to pass on to future generations.” – Republican Party of Kentucky Chairman Mac Brown

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear signed a proclamation on Thursday recognizing Juneteenth and said he will encourage lawmakers to pass a bill next year to recognize it as a state holiday. Juneteenth commemorates when the last enslaved African Americans learned they were free 155 years ago. Beshear says it’s important to remind people that the impacts of slavery continue to linger and celebrate “that at least portions of that dark chapter ended.”

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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