HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) — Earlier this week Governor Northam proposed legislation to make June 19 better known as Juneteenth a paid state holiday for employees in Virginia.
Juneteenth commemorates the day that black slaves in Galveston, Texas, were informed that Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation freeing them from slavery. This came two years after they were already formally freed by Lincoln in 1863.
Northam expressed his support of Juneteenth being observed as a holiday along with acknowledging this day as apart of everyone’s shared history. “It’s time we elevate Juneteenth, not just as a celebration by and for some, but one acknowledged and commemorated by all of us.”
Several companies in the U.S. like Nike have also declared Juneteenth a holiday and are giving employees the day off this year. This has raised hope that Juneteenth – the day commemorating the end of slavery in the U.S., could become a national holiday and celebration, the Associated Press reports.