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By virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution of Virginia in the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, there is hereby officially recognized:


WHEREAS, on January 1, 1863, President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring that “all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free;” and

WHEREAS, President Lincoln correctly believed that slavery was a violation of the principles of the Declaration of Independence and that its abolition represented a “new birth of freedom” for the United States; and

WHEREAS, on June 19, 1865, two-and-a-half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the Civil War was over and that the enslaved were now free; and

WHEREAS, the following year, the first official Juneteenth celebrations took place in Texas and have continued throughout the United States over the years making it the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the end of slavery; and

WHEREAS, Juneteenth celebrations take place annually throughout the Commonwealth and the nation to include readings of the Emancipation Proclamation, prayer and worship services, cultural performances, community service events and other meaningful observances; and

WHEREAS, citizens of the Commonwealth are encouraged to honor the great strides African Americans have made and to learn, unite, and celebrate as we continue to work to create a more perfect union;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Glenn Youngkin, do hereby recognize June 19, 2024, as JUNETEENTH in the COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.