Join our office as we commemorate #Juneteenth to celebrate, learn, and reflect on the strength and history of African Americans. On this day June 19, we commemorate the anniversary of the end of slavery in the U.S. One Hundred Fifty-Five years ago, June 19, 1865, the last group of enslaved African Americans in United States were informed of their freedom when Union Soldiers landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. This was more than two years after Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation; the Executive Order signed by President Lincoln on September 22, 1862, and effective as of January 1, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation changed the legal status of 3.5 million enslaved African Americans in the Confederate States from slave to free. Today, we honor our ancestors who suffered under the horrors, indignity, cruelty, and inhumanity of chattel slavery, as we continue to strive to live in a society that embodies that words of the Declaration of Independence:
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.