Gov. Edwards declares Juneteenth as legal state holiday

Published: Jun. 17, 2021 at 4:22 AM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (KSLA) - Juneteenth is now an official state holiday in Louisiana.

Governor John Bel Edwards made the announcement Wednesday, June 16 after signing House Bill 554 (Act 128). As such, on Friday, June 18, all state officers will be close for a half-day. The bill was authored by Rep. Larry Selders.

Juneteenth is a day commemorating June 19, 1865, when Major General Gordon Granger led Union soldiers to Galveston, Texas to bring news that the Civil War had ended and that President Abraham Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing all those who were enslaved.

“I was proud to sign HB 554 by Rep. Selders and co-authored by the entire Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus, finally recognizing Juneteenth Day as a legal holiday in Louisiana,” said Gov. Edwards. “This is an important part of American history, commemorating the day those who had been enslaved in the United States learned of their freedom. There are meaningful lessons for everyone to learn.”

Act 128 designates the third Saturday in June as Juneteenth Day throughout Louisiana. Beginning in 2022, all state offices will be closed the Friday before that Saturday.

Click here to read the full proclamation.

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