Mayor Bob Campbell signed and presented the following proclamation on June 14, 2021 during a city council meeting held at the Walton County Courthouse Commission Chambers. Below is the text of the document.
WHEREAS, Juneteenth, or Juneteenth Independence Day, commemorates the traditional observance of the end of slavery in the United States and is observed annually on June 19; and
WHEREAS, President Abraham Lincoln declared that ‘”in giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free-honorable alike in what we give, and what we preserve. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth;” and
WHEREAS, on January 1, 1863, President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring that “all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free;” and
WHEREAS, President Lincoln correctly believed slavery to be in violation of the principles of the Declaration of Independence and that its abolition represented a “new birth of freedom” for the United States; and
WHEREAS, more than two years would pass before the news reached African Americans living in Texas when on June 19, 1865, Union General Gordon Granger and his regiment arrived in Galveston and spread the word that slavery has been abolished; and
WHEREAS, the following year, the first official Juneteenth celebration took place in Texas and has continued across the United States throughout the years; and
WHEREAS, emancipation in Florida was proclaimed in Tallahassee on May 20, 1865, and for this reason Floridians traditionally celebrate Emancipation Day on May 20; and
WHEREAS, Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery; and
WHEREAS, Juneteenth is an important opportunity to honor the principles of the Declaration of Independence and celebrate the achievements and contributions African Americans have made, and continue to make, in Florida and across our Nation.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Bob Campbell, by the virtue of the authority vested in me as Mayor of the City of DeFuniak Springs, Florida do hereby proclaim the day of June 19, 2021, as
JUNETEENTH INDEPENDENCE DAY
In the City of DeFuniak Springs and urge all citizens of our community to join me in commemorating the end of slavery with a celebration of Juneteenth.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Official Seal of the City of DeFuniak Springs to be affixed this 14th day of June in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-one.
Bob Campbell, Mayor