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State offices to close early Friday in honor of Juneteenth

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Posted at 7:08 PM, Jun 16, 2021

In honor of Juneteenth becoming a legal holiday in the state of Louisiana, Gov. Edwards has announced that all state offices will be closed for a half-day on Friday, June 18.

Last week, the governor signed House Bill 554 (Act 128) by Baton Rouge Rep. Larry Selders, enacting the Juneteenth celebration into law and making it a permanent state holiday.

Juneteenth celebrates June 19, 1865, when Major General Gordon Granger led Union soldiers into Galveston, Texas, bringing the news that the Civil War had ended and the Emancipation Proclamation declared all those enslaved that they had been freed nearly two and a half years earlier.

"I was proud to sign HB 554 by Rep. Selders and co-authored by the entire Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus, finally recognizing Juneteenth Day as a legal holiday in Louisiana," said Gov. Edwards. "This is an important part of American history, commemorating the day those who had been enslaved in the United States learned of their freedom. There are meaningful lessons for everyone to learn."

Act 128 designates the third Saturday in June as Juneteenth Day throughout Louisiana. Beginning in 2022, all state offices will be closed the Friday before that Saturday.

Read the proclamation here and HB 554 here.

A bill that would designate Juneteenth as a federal holiday is heading to President Joe Biden's desk for signature after the House approved the measure Wednesday afternoon. The Senate unanimously passed the bill on Tuesday.

RELATED: Juneteenth: The history and significance of the holiday

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