The community was well-represented as a couple of milestone events came together on a single day for Hopkins County residents. At noon on Friday June 18, as the nation was observing the new Juneteenth national holiday, the local community celebrated the near-completion of the Grays Building Community Center.
More than 100 persons were present to see the interior of the beautiful new facility, hear a reading of the Juneteenth proclamation and enjoy a BBQ lunch prepared by Bodacious BBQ.
John Sellers, by the virtue of the authority vested in him as Mayor and on behalf of the Sulphur Springs City Council, urged citizens to join in appropriate observances of the historic day. The proclamation documented the significance of the date of June 19, 1866 in Texas history when the news of the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation freeing all slaves finally reached the people of Texas. In 1979, Texas became the first state to recognize the emancipation celebration, and in 1980, Texas adopted Juneteenth as an official Texas state Holiday. Sellers concluded the reading with “Juneteenth is an important opportunity to honor the principles of the Declaration of Independence and to celebrate the achievements and contributions that African Americans have made, and continue to make in Sulphur Springs, Texas and across our nation.”
A portrait of Mr. HW Grays hangs in the entrance-way of the new facility dedicated to his memory. The final touches will include installation of roll-up bay doors. Outside in Pacific Park, the final phase of construction will include completion of the grounds and playgrounds to be enjoyed by the children and families of the community.
WHEREAS, Our country is composed of people from all races, who are declared
WHEREAS, Our nation was declared on July 4th, 1776, with the statement: “We hold
these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by
their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and
the pursuit of Happiness”; and
WHEREAS, At 2:00 p.m. on New Year’s Day, January 1, 1863, using his war powers
as President, Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, providing that
all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State “shall be then,
thenceforward, and forever free;” and
WHEREAS, Texans began the celebration of Juneteenth in 1866, with community
events and celebrations; some communities purchased land for Juneteenth
celebrations, such as Emancipation Park in Houston, TX; and as freed families
relocated from Texas to other parts of the United States, they carried the Juneteenth
celebration with them; and
WHEREAS, Al Edwards, a freshman state representative, put forward the House Bill
1016, in 1979 making Texas the first state to recognize this emancipation celebration;
WHEREAS, On January 1, 1980, Juneteenth became an official Texas state holiday;
WHEREAS, Juneteenth is an important opportunity to honor the principles of the
Declaration of Independence and to celebrate the achievements and contributions that
African Americans have made, and continue to make in Sulphur Springs, Texas, and
across our nation.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, John A. Sellers, by the virtue of the authority vested in me
as Mayor, and on behalf of the City Council of the City of Sulphur Springs, Texas,
urge citizens to join in appropriate observances of this historic day.
Signed and sealed the 18th day of June of the year of our Lord, two thousand twenty-
John A. Sellers, Mayor
City of Sulphur Springs, Texas