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Mayor Derrick Henry has proclaimed Thursday, May 20, as “Florida Emancipation Day” in the city of Daytona Beach. It is the day in 1865 when tens of thousands of enslaved people were freed after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was formally announced from the steps of the Knott House in Tallahassee. In the 1860 census, Florida counted 140,424 people, of whom 44% were enslaved. It's earlier than the Juneteenth date in which slaves in Texas were informed on June 19, 1865 that they were free. Read the proclamation.