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What states do not recognize Juneteenth?

Texas was the first state in the union to recognize Juneteenth as a public holiday. Now over half of the states do so, as well as the federal government.

Texas was the first state in the union to recognize Juneteenth as a public holiday. Now over half of the states do so, as well as the federal government.

Communities across the United States have been celebrating Juneteenth, also known as Emancipation Day, on 19 June for over a century. It was made an official national holiday in 2021, but prior to that only a handful of states recognized it as a public holiday.

Texas was the first state to make 19 June a public holiday over forty years ago, fitting in that the first Juneteenth celebrations took place there in 1866, a year after the last of the slaves in the US learned that they were free. Although a common belief among many in the United States of America is that President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation in 1862 marked the end of slavery, the true end to this cruel practice had to wait until the end of the Civil War.

Due to the ongoing war at the time of the Proclamation, several secessionist states chose to ignore it. Moreover, numerous slave owners had transported their slaves to Texas, where they continued to be held in bondage and were uninformed about their right to freedom.

That changed on June 19, 1865 when Union Army General Gordon Granger proclaimed in Galveston, Texas that all slaves were free, bringing word of the Lincoln’s Emancipation to the last reaches of the nation. That date has commemorated as the true end to slavery in the US since.

Juneteenth: recognition as a Federal holiday

In 1980, Texas was the pioneering state to acknowledge the holiday through state law. On June 17, 2021, the US Congress approved the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, officially establishing 19 June as the eleventh federal holiday. This means it counts as a federal holiday regardless of individual state decisions.

All 50 states and the District of Columbia recognize Juneteenth as a holiday or observance According to Pew Research, the research organization. However, there are 27 states that have passed laws to make Juneteenth a permanent state public holiday which are the following: Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Washington. Also included is the District of Columbia.

With this statute, federal employees will have the day off and private businesses and organizations can offer Juneteenth as a paid holiday to their employees. Already, under state law in Texas, New York, Virginia, and Washington, Juneteenth is an official holiday where state employees are given the day off.