WHEREAS, Section 9.161, RSMo designates June nineteenth of each year, known as "Juneteenth," as "Emancipation Day" to provide an opportunity for the people of Missouri to reflect upon the United States of America's passion for freedom as exemplified in the Constitution of the United States, the Bill of Rights, and the Emancipation Proclamation, and to reflect upon the significance of the Emancipation Proclamation and its role in ending slavery in the United States; and
WHEREAS, the observance of Juneteenth by African Americans is the oldest known commemoration of the ending of slavery, and all Missourians should share in this celebration of American freedom, justice, and equality on Emancipation Day.
NOW THEREFORE, I, JEREMIAH W. (JAY) NIXON, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF MISSOURI, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the State of Missouri, do hereby declare and establish a Missouri Emancipation Day Commission, whose purpose shall be: to promote, consider, and recommend, in consultation with the Departments of Economic Development, Natural Resources and Elementary and Secondary Education, appropriate activities for the annual recognition and celebration of Emancipation Day, as established in Section 9.161, RSMo.
The Commission shall be composed of not more than seven (7) members as follows:
- the Director of the Department of Economic Development or his or her designee;
- the Director of the Department of Natural Resources or his or her designee;
- the Commissioner of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education or his or her designee;
- four (4) members appointed by the governor, who demonstrate experience in matters relating to economic development, who have knowledge of African American culture, history, and heritage, and who are influential within their communities.
The governor shall designate one member to serve as the chair. All members of the Commission shall be legal residents of the United States and registered voters in the State of Missouri.
All members of the Commission shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor and shall serve without compensation, except that the members may be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses arising from commission activities or business. Such expenses shall be paid by the Department of Economic Development, to which the Commission is assigned for administrative purposes.
Of the members first appointed to the Commission by the governor, two shall serve a term of three years and two shall serve a term of two years; thereafter members appointed by the governor shall serve for a term of three years. Other members shall serve for as long as they hold the position which made them eligible for appointment.
I further declare that the people of the state, offices of government, and all educational, commercial, political, civic, religious, and fraternal organizations in the state are requested to devote some part of June nineteenth celebrating the abolishment of slavery in the United States; remembering the heroism, courage, and devotion to liberty of the men and women who fought for and brought about this change, thereby setting an example for the entire world; and reaffirming their own personal commitment to achieving equal justice and opportunity for all.
This Order shall be effective immediately and shall supersede all previous Executive Orders pertaining to the same subject.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of the State of Missouri, in the City of Jefferson, on this 2nd day of February, 2010.
[Jay Nixon's signature]
Jeremiah W. (Jay) Nixon
[Robin Carnahan's signature]
Secretary of State