According to the National Archives and Records Administration:
President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, as the nation approached its third year of bloody civil war. The proclamation declared, “that all persons held as slaves” within the rebellious states “are, and henceforward shall be free.”
Today, we celebrate this momentous event that forever changed the course of history. Embedded in the spirit of all Americans and Texans is the quest for freedom and the undying commitment to spread this fundamental right to all peoples of all countries.
As Texans, let us not forget that freedom and the unabridged right to pursue our dreams must continue to be the cornerstone of our society.