Whereas on June 19, 1865 in Galveston, Texas—over two years after President Abraham Lincoln declared all enslaved persons free—Major General Gordon Granger and Union Army troops enforced the Emancipation Proclamation and freed the last enslaved Black Americans; and
Whereas free from the bondage which immorally deprived them of human dignity, their long overdue emancipation was celebrated on June 19—“Juneteenth”—and this year marks the 158th year of Juneteenth, the oldest known celebration commemorating the abolishment of slavery in the United States; and
Whereas this nationally recognized holiday is an opportunity to celebrate human freedom, reflect on the grievous and ongoing legacy of slavery, and rededicate ourselves to rooting out systemic racism that continues to plague our society as we strive to deliver the full promise of freedom and equality for all Americans; and
Whereas as we celebrate Juneteenth, let us recommit ourselves to the work of equity, equality and justice, remind ourselves of the centuries of struggle, courage and hope that have brought us to this time of progress and possibility, and ensure that the events of 1865 are not forgotten;
Now, Therefore I, Victor M. Gordo, Mayor of the City of Pasadena, on behalf of the City Council, do hereby proclaim June 19, 2023, in Pasadena as Juneteenth.