Northwest Voices | Letters to the Editor
Juneteenth: an American celebration
Getting the dates right
On Monday, June 18, The Times noted that the Emancipation Proclamation was signed on this date in 1862 [“We can all celebrate Juneteenth,” NWMonday].
Actually, it was signed by President Lincoln on Sept. 22,1862, to be effective Jan. 1, 1863. As noted by Jerry Large previously, it was on June 19,1865, that the citizens of Galveston, Texas, learned from arriving federal soldiers of the proclamation that had been issued nearly three years earlier.
One of the most poignant holidays in America, this day commemorates the spontaneous celebrations in the streets of Galveston by newly freed slaves upon hearing the news.
— Carol Jaeger, Seattle