Idaho observes Juneteenth as new legal public holiday

Thursday June 17, 2021

Boise, Idaho – Governor Brad Little issued a proclamation today recognizing June 19 – known as “Juneteenth” – as a new legal public holiday observed by Idaho Code following the passage of the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, which President Joe Biden signed into law on June 17, 2021.

State of Idaho executive branch entities will observe the holiday on June 18.

The text of Governor Little’s proclamation follows: 


           WHEREAS, Juneteenth celebrates the end of slavery in the United States and it is also known as Emancipation Day; and 

           WHEREAS, on June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, and announced the end of the Civil War and the end of slavery. Although the Emancipation Proclamation came more than two years earlier on January 1, 1863, many slave owners continued to hold their slaves captive after the announcement, so Juneteenth became a symbolic date representing African American freedom; and 

           WHEREAS, all Idahoans honor the countless contributions made by African Americans to our state and our nation; and 

           WHEREAS, Juneteenth marks the celebration of not just a moment in the past but also a renewed shared commitment to uniting as Americans to ensure equality and opportunity are a reality for all Americans, in the present and the future; and 

            WHEREAS, the United States Congress passed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act recognizing June 19 as a legal public holiday, which President of the United States Joseph R. Biden Jr. signed into law on June 17, 2021; and 

            WHEREAS, pursuant to Idaho Code §§ 73-108 and 67-5302, Saturday, June 19, 2021 is a new holiday recognized and observed by the State of Idaho; and 

            WHEREAS, holidays occurring on a Saturday are observed on the preceding Friday. 

           NOW, THEREFORE, I, BRAD LITTLE, Governor of the State of Idaho, and pursuant to Idaho Code, do hereby recognize Juneteenth as a holiday and that state offices will be closed on Friday, June 18, 2021. However, the Office of the Governor will remain open and available to assist agencies and members of the public. 

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of the State of Idaho at the Capitol in Boise on this 17th day of  June in the year of our Lord two thousand and twenty-one. 



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