Jim Hagaman

Spring Hill Mayor Jim Hagaman explains his support for officially recognizing Juneteenth.

The city of Spring Hill may soon officially recognize and celebrate Emancipation Day after Mayor Jim Hagaman proposed a resolution this week officially recognizing the national holiday, also known as Juneteenth.

Juneteenth

President Abraham Lincoln's most notable achievement was signing the Emancipation Proclamation on Sept. 22, 1862, decreeing the freedom of more than 3.5 million enslaved black men and women.

It wouldn't be until almost three years later on June 19, 1865, however, that the last remaining enslaved black men and women were actually freed.

Despite the proclamation officially outlawing slavery in the United States, the lack of Union troops in Texas meant enforcement of the proclamation was almost non-existent.

Union General Gordon Granger, of which Fort Granger in Franklin is named after, visited the city of Galveston Texas in 1865, and on June 19 of that year, famously read a declaration decreeing all the remaining enslaved people be freed.

June 19 is now widely recognized as the true date in which enslaved people were freed in the United States, and is officially recognized in all states except North Dakota, South Dakota and Hawaii. Juneteenth is also officially recognized by the city of Franklin.

"It's important to a lot of people"

Hagaman's proposal came during the Spring Hill Board of Mayor and Aldermen's non-voting meeting, meaning no votes were cast. Nevertheless, Hagaman expressed his support for the measure, and flagged the resolution ahead of its vote later this month.

"I just want to make recognition of [Juneteenth] because it's important to a lot of people, including myself," Hagaman said.

"I think it would be a great bragging right to say that Spring Hill actually does recognize that, that factual, historical event. I think it's a very important day to many people in history."

City leaders will vote on Hagaman's resolution during the city's next voting meeting on Monday, May 17.