St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - Governor Tim Walz has issued an official proclamation declaring today Juneteenth Freedom Day in Minnesota.

The governor says the proclamation commemorates the day in 1865 when enslaved African Americans in Texas were finally informed of the Emancipation Proclamation issued by President Lincoln on January 1st, 1863, freeing slaves in the Confederate states. Walz also noted that this year's Juneteenth celebration has special significance in Minnesota because of the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police on Memorial Day and the 100th commemoration of the lynching of Elias Clayton, Elmer Jackson, and Isaac McGhie by a mob in Duluth.

"We must do everything in our power to come together to deconstruct generations of systemic racism in our state so that every person in Minnesota – Black, Indigenous, Brown, and White – can be safe and thrive..."

The governor also issued a call for the State Legislature to make June 19th a State Holiday.

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