Juneteenth will now be observed as a state holiday in Kansas, Gov. Laura Kelly has announced. The holiday will apply to executive branch employees under the governor’s jurisdiction.
“Establishing Juneteenth as a state holiday provides Kansans an opportunity to celebrate our state’s diversity and honor the ongoing struggles for racial equality,” Gov. Kelly said in a news release.
Juneteenth commemorates June 19th 1865, the day the last enslaved Americans received word that President Abraham Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation to abolish slavery more than two years after the end of the Civil War.
Juneteenth National Independence Day became the first new US federal holiday in 40 years, when it was signed into law by President Joe Biden on Thursday June 17th 2021.
At least 28 states and the District of Columbia legally recognize Juneteenth as a public holiday. All other states officially recognize Juneteenth and have an official observance of the day, and most states hold celebrations.