Juneteenth Day of Observance Proclamation

Submitted by the Town of Friday Harbor

Mayor Ray Jackson proclaimed June 19, 20024 to be Juneteenth Day of Observance, stating in the proclamation “I encourage all citizens to promote harmony and equality, respect the rights of all people, and embrace the cultural diversity of your Town.”

The entire proclamation reads as follows:

WHEREAS, on New Year’s Day of 1863, using his war powers as President, Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring that all persons held as slaves within rebellious states “are, and henceforward, shall be free; and

WHEREAS, word about the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation was delayed in reacting to the authorities and African-Americans in the South and Southwestern United States. On June 19, 1865, almost 2 1⁄2years later, Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, and announced the end of both the Civil War and slavery, with this message:

The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves absolute equality or personal rights and of property, between former masters and slaves and the connection heretofore existing between them, becomes that between employer and hired labor The freedmen are advised to remain at their present homes and work for wages; and

WHEREAS, those Black Texans began the celebration of Juneteenth, with community events such as parades, cookouts, prayer gatherings, musical performances and historical cultural readings; some communities purchased land for Juneteenth celebrations, such as Emancipation Parkin Houston, t×; and as freed families emigrated from Texas to other parts of the UnitedStates, they carried the Juneteenth celebration with them; and

WHEREAS, Juneteenth has been celebrated since 1866, mostly by Black Americans; yet its ad a that’s worthy of celebration by every American, as it represents a critical turning point in American history, not just the Black story. It is the day that we as a people finally began to live up to one of the greatest principles we professed: a nation devoted to liberty for all; and

WHEREAS, the Town of Friday Harbor fully recognizes the intrinsic value of celebrating Juneteenth. Its observance promotes social justice for the sake of our collective prosperity and acknowledges that there remains much work to be done to address equal access to opportunities and resources for people who might otherwise be marginalized.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Raymont C. Jackson, by the virtue of the authority vested in me as Mayor, do hereby proclaim June 19, 2024, as Juneteenth Day of Observance

FURTHER, I encourage all citizens to promote harmony and equality, respect the rights of all people, and embrace the cultural diversity of our Town.