Juneteenth dates back to 1865 when, on June 19, Union soldiers led by Major General Gordon Granger arrived at Galveston, Texas with news of the end of the Civil War and that the slaves were free. This news was over two years after the Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863, which didn’t impact Texas extremely since there were very few Union soldiers to enforce the proclamation.
However, the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865 coupled with the arrival of Granger and his regiment finally provided the influence necessary to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation.
Juneteenth became a federal holiday last year. All 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia recognize Juneteenth either as a state holiday, a ceremonial holiday, or a day of observance. At least 24 states and the District of Columbia will legally recognize Juneteenth as a public holiday this year – meaning state government offices are closed and state workers have a paid day off, according to a Pew Research Center.
At its June 13, 2022, meeting, Lynnwood Councilwoman Shirley Sutton approached the podium, joined by councilman Joshua Binda, to read a Juneteenth Proclamation recognizing Sunday, June 19, as Juneteenth in the City of Lynnwood for the first time in the city’s history.