Idaho recognizes Juneteenth, holiday marking end of slavery

Gov. Brad Little
Gov. Brad Little

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho will observe the new federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery, Gov. Brad Little said in a proclamation issued Thursday.

The Republican governor said the state will recognize Juneteenth, or June 19, as required by Idaho law when a new federal holiday is created.

Little said state offices will be closed Friday because the holiday falls on a Saturday this year.

Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas — two months after the Confederacy had surrendered. That was also about 2 1/2 years after the Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves in the Southern states.

President Joe Biden on Thursday signed into law the bill creating the new holiday that passed the House 415-14 on Wednesday and the Senate unanimously the day before. Idaho’s entire Congressional delegation voted for the new holiday.

Little in his proclamation said, “Juneteenth marks the celebration of not just a moment in the past but also a renewed shared commitment to uniting as Americans to ensure equality and opportunity are a reality for all Americans, in the present and the future.”

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