SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today issued a proclamation declaring “Juneteenth National Freedom Day: A Day of Observance” in the State of California.
California will celebrate Juneteenth as a state holiday for the first time this June under legislation enacted into law this year.
The text of the proclamation and a copy can be found below:
America does not only celebrate our independence on July 4. Each year on June 19, we look back to this day in 1865, on which Union General Gordon Granger led troops into Galveston, Texas, to announce the end of the Civil War and the insidious institution of slavery. Thousands of enslaved people in Texas, among the last to learn of their independence, were finally freed – more than two years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.Over the next several decades, Black Americans who journeyed out of the South seeking better lives brought Juneteenth celebrations with them. The thousands who settled in California, especially in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, taught our state that America’s struggle for freedom did not end in 1776 or 1865, but continues to this day. For the first time this year, California will celebrate Juneteenth as a state holiday, honoring the centuries of struggles and triumphs that have brought us to this moment. Amid misguided efforts to rewrite our nation’s history, California is committed to confronting the dark chapters of our past to continue moving forward in pursuit of a more perfect union. This Juneteenth, I urge all Californians to reflect on the ongoing cause of freedom for Black Americans – remembering that, though General Granger’s announcement in 1865 called for “absolute equality,” that vision was, and remains, far from complete. Let us celebrate how far we have come and take stock of how far we must go to truly realize our nation’s founding ideals. NOW THEREFORE I, GAVIN NEWSOM, Governor of the State of California, do hereby proclaim June 17, 2023, as “Juneteenth National Freedom Day: A Day of Observance.” IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of California to be affixed this 17th day of June 2023. GAVIN NEWSOM Governor of California
ATTEST: SHIRLEY N. WEBER, Ph.D. Secretary of State