Please join us in commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African American slaves. The holiday’s history traces back to Galveston, Texas, when enslaved people were finally told of their emancipation on June 19, 1865. This information was announced two-and-a-half years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. A celebration was held in Texas in 1866, marking the first Juneteenth observance to recognize freedom from slavery. Until everyone is free, no one is free.