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County board moves to formally recognize Juneteenth Day as a holiday

Chair Carter reading proclamation
Chair Toni Carter read the proclamation.

At their June 8 meeting, the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners directed the County Manager to formally incorporate Juneteenth Day as a recognized county holiday beginning in 2022 and to join other early adopters to advocate for its adoption as an official state and national holiday.

The Emancipation Proclamation, signed by President Lincoln in 1863, established that all enslaved people in Confederate states and against the Union shall be set free from slavery; however, many slave owners in the state of Texas did not release their enslaved people.

On June 19, 1865, General Gordan Grainger and his troops entered Galveston, and officially declared the immediate release and freedom of the remainder of enslaved people who were forcefully held captive in Texas for almost three years.

In 1866, Black freedmen organized the first celebration of "Jubilee Day" on June 19 featuring music, ethnic cuisines, prayer services and other activities; and June 19 is now recognized as a ceremonial holiday in 47 states, with Texas being the first to declare Juneteenth a state holiday in 1980.

Chair Toni Carter read the proclamation and county staff and other community partners offered remarks at the June 8 meeting.

Posted on Tuesday, June 8, 2021 - 9:11 a.m.