The Key West City Commission has declared June 19 as Juneteenth Independence Day.
In 1865, nearly nine decades after our nation's founding and more than two years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, enslaved Americans in Galveston, Texas, finally received a proclamation declaring that they were free from bondage.
"On June 19, 1866, Black Americans came to commemorate Juneteenth with celebrations across the country, building new lives and a new tradition that we honor today," reads the proclamation.
Last year, President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act to create a federal holiday.
Utility Board member Mona C. Clark accepted the proclamation.
"Juneteenth has been celebrated yearly after year," she said. "Fortunately, this year, it's celebrated as a national holiday. We're very grateful."
In recognition of the holiday, City offices will be closed on Monday, June 20.