Washington, DC - Melania and I send our best wishes for a memorable celebration to all those commemorating Juneteenth.
On June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger of the United States Army marched into Galveston, Texas, and issued General Order Number 3, declaring, “all slaves are free.” With this order, the message enshrined in President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 was brought to Texas, unshackling thousands of slaves who had remained in bondage. Six months later, the Thirteenth Amendment was ratified, abolishing slavery in the United States once and for all.
That joyous day in June 1865 became known as Juneteenth. For millions of African Americans, Juneteenth has served as an opportunity to celebrate the fundamental truth that all people are created equal and that liberty is a right endowed by our Creator.
Across our country, the contributions of African Americans continue to enrich every facet of American life. This Juneteenth, as we vow always to uphold the God-given rights of all Americans, we pay tribute to the indomitable spirit of African Americans.