Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a proclamation declaring “Juneteenth National Freedom Day: A Day of Observance” in the state of California.

California is celebrating Juneteenth as a state holiday for the first time this June under legislation enacted into law this year.

The proclamation in honor of Juneteenth National Freedom Day in California issued by Gov. Gavin Newsom. (Office of the Governor)

The proclamation begins, “Each year on June 19, we look back to this day in 1865, on which Union General Gordon Granger led troops into Galveston, Texas, to announce the end of the Civil War and the insidious institution of slavery.”

The proclamation goes on to note that thousands of enslaved people in Texas, among the last to learn of their independence, were freed more than two years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.

“Over the next several decades, Black Americans who journeyed out of the South seeking better lives brought Juneteenth celebrations with them. The thousands who settled in California, especially in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, taught our state that America’s struggle for freedom did not end in 1776 or 1865, but continues to this day,” the proclamation reads, in part.

The proclamation concludes, “This Juneteenth, I urge all Californians to reflect on the ongoing cause of freedom for Black Americans — remembering that, though General Granger’s announcement in 1865 called for ‘absolute equality,’ that vision was, and remains, far from complete. Let us celebrate how far we have come and take stock of how far we must go to truly realize our nation’s founding ideals.”