At its June 8 meeting, the Paramount City Council recognized the importance of Juneteenth in the community. On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed the slaves in Confederate territory. Shamefully, this information did not reach many people in the affected areas until June 19, 1865. Since then, that date has held a special meaning for the African-American community. Called Juneteenth, it has been celebrated for nearly 160 years. The council encouraged the public to learn about the many contributions African-Americans have made to the development of the country.