The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
Statement by the President on the Observance of Juneteenth
On this day in 1865 – more than two years after President Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation – word finally reached Galveston, Texas that the slaves there were free.
Juneteenth marked an important moment in the life of our nation. But it was only the beginning of a long and difficult struggle for equal rights and equal treatment under the law. This year, as we also mark the 50th Anniversary of Freedom Summer, we honor those who continued to fight for equality and opportunity for Americans of every race and every background. And we recommit ourselves to the unending work of perfecting our Union.