The Snoqualmie Valley in the early to mid-1860s was made up of the Snoqualmie Tribe and a handful of white settlers.
The most populous town in Washington territory (statehood was still 25 years away) was Walla Walla, with 722 people, including 17 Native Americans and one African American.
The 1860 federal census counted only 30 African Americans living in Washington Territory, 26 men and just four women.
While Washington was a continent away from the battlefields, today, we commemorate June 19 or Juneteenth as a recognition of history and a celebration of African American culture.
U.S. President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, but enslaved people in Texas would not learn of their freedom until two years later.
The year 1865 marked the end of the Civil War and the beginning of the Reconstruction Era in the United States. It also was the year that federal troops arrived in Galveston on June 19 and freed the people of the last state of the Confederacy with institutional slavery.
Later that same year, the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery throughout the United States.
In 1866, free people in Texas organized the first ‘Jubilee Day’ on June 19. The Juneteenth celebrations spread as black people migrated from Texas to other states.
Texas became the first state in 1979 to make June 19 an official holiday, and in 2021, Congress passed a resolution establishing Juneteenth as a national holiday. President Biden signed it into law on June 17, 2021.
At its June 13, 2022 meeting, the Snoqualmie City Council approved Resolution No. 1619, adding Juneteenth (June 19) as an official City holiday for all employees. In recognition of Juneteenth, City facilities will be closed on Monday, June 20.
The City of North Bend offices will also close to observe the Federal Juneteenth Holiday, and as the holiday falls on Sunday, June 19, the city will make the observance by closure on Monday, June 20. Regular hours/operations will resume Tuesday, June 21.