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June 19, 2023


Juneteenth marks the day that all slaves were freed in the United States. Although the Emancipation Proclamation was issued in 1863, slavery wasn’t completely abolished until two years later. On June 19, 1865, 250,000 enslaved Black people in Texas, who were never informed of their freedom, were finally told that they were free. The news came from General Gordon Granger and Union Army troops who marched to Galveston, Texas, to enforce the proclamation and free the last enslaved Black Americans in Texas. His specific statement went as follows:  “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 an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired laborer.”  Even though General Robert E. Lee had surrendered at Appomattox Court House two months earlier in Virginia, slavery had remained relatively unaffected in Texas until General Granger stood on Texas soil and read that statement. June 19th marks the day when everyone in the United States was officially free and that’s why we celebrate Juneteenth. It has been celebrated annually on June 19th in various parts of the U.S. since 1865.  Juneteenth has been observed in communities and states as a holiday but in 2021, President Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law which is when Juneteenth became recognized as a federal holiday. 


Local Celebration 


This year, in Ventura County, Juneteenth will be celebrated in Oxnard’s Plaza Park (500 S. Street) on Saturday, June 17th, from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.  This “Freedom Day Celebration” is free to the public; for more information, check out the flier and visit their website. JUNETEENTH | Juneteenth-Oxnard (juneteenthoxnard.org) 


County Offices Closed 

Since we collaborate with the county in our work, we wanted to share that Ventura County government agencies will recognize Juneteenth as a paid holiday starting this year. Read more in the VC Star: Ventura County recognizes Juneteenth as a paid holiday (vcstar.com) 


June 19, 2023