Gov. Kay Ivey proclaims Juneteenth an Alabama state holiday

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced today that Friday will be a state holiday to commemorate Juneteenth, a day that symbolizes the end of slavery in America in 1865.

Ivey issued a proclamation today after President Biden signed a bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday.

The governor’s proclamation says state offices will be closed except in areas where it is essential to maintain personnel. She said employees who work Friday should get a day off as soon as possible.

Juneteenth, which is June 19, falls on Saturday this year. The new holiday is in recognition of June 19, 1865, when Black slaves in Galveston, Texas, learned from Union soldiers of their freedom.

Leah Garner, communications director for the governor, said Ivey hopes to see the Legislature pass a bill to set Juneteenth as a regular state holiday. If that doesn’t happen, the governor could designate the holiday again in future years. Alabama recognizes all federal holidays as state holidays, Garner said.

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