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CHEYENNE — Gov. Dave Freudenthal has proclaimed today as "Juneteenth Day" in Wyoming, commemorating the end of slavery in the country.

Freudenthal met with Thomas Rudolph, president of the NAACP in Cheyenne, on Thursday and signed a proclamation stating that Juneteenth "celebrates African American freedom while encouraging self-development and respect for all cultures."

Juneteenth is the traditional celebration of the announcement in Texas in 1865 that slavery was ended.

Freudenthal said he hopes his proclamation will draw public attention to the importance of the day and reinforce its message in Wyoming.

"It is better to love than to hate," Freudenthal said.

The Legislature declared the third Saturday in June as the state's Juneteenth holiday in 2003.

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Rudolph, who serves as coordinator of the Juneteenth Committee in Cheyenne, and members of his family watched the governor sign the proclamation.

"Hatred is not a family value, and I feel like love is," Rudolph said.

The NAACP's eighth annual Juneteenth Celebration in Cheyenne is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. today at Martin Luther King Park. Rudolph said the event will feature music, sports and food.

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