Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day, or Emancipation, is an annual federal holiday observing the end of slavery in the United States and marks our country’s second Independence Day.  

In 1863, during the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared enslaved people living in the Confederate states to be free. However, news that slavery was abolished was widely ignored and did not reach the deepest parts of the former Confederacy in Galveston, Texas until June 19, 1865, over two years after the emancipation proclamation was signed. In 1979, Texas became the first state to make Juneteenth an official holiday, and as of June 17, 2021 Juneteenth became the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was declared a federal holiday in 1986.   

We commemorate June 19 as the day slaves were truly set free and celebrate our black and African-American community members, and commit to working together toward equity for all in expanding economic, educational, and career opportunities for everyone in our community. Issaquah is committed to continue to nurture and ensure that our residents feel welcome and are treated with respect, dignity and understanding.


Mayor Pauly issued a proclamation at the June 5, 2023 City Council meeting stating that June 19th will be known as Juneteenth Day in the City of Issaquah.

Past Events

Thanks to all who joined us this year for a Juneteenth celebration and barbeque!

The City and its newly created Equity Board, in partnership with the Baha'i's of Issaquah, hosted an in-person educational community event in June 2022, featuring Mr. Delbert Richardson, owner/curator of the national award winning American History Traveling Museum - The “Unspoken” Truths. 


  1. Children's Literature
  2. Adult Literature
  3. Articles
  4. Movies & Documentaries

Picture books to enjoy with children of all ages to learn and celebrate Juneteenth.