On June 18, 2009, in a historic move, the US Senate apologized for slavery almost 150 years after the start of the Civil War.
The resolution, passed by voice vote, said it was important for Americans to apologize for slavery “so they can move forward and seek reconciliation, justice, and harmony for all people of the United States.” It was passed on the day before Juneteenth, which commemorates the emancipation of slaves in 1865.
A disclaimer tacked on at the end said nothing in the resolution authorizes or supports reparations for slavery.
“Let us make no mistake: This resolution will not fix lingering injustices,” said Senator Tom Harkin, who first introduced the apology years ago. “While we are proud of this resolution and believe it is long overdue, the real work lies ahead.”
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