LOS ANGELES – Mayor Eric Garcetti signed a proclamation Monday making Juneteenth, which commemorates the end of slavery on June 19, a paid holiday for Los Angeles city employees.
Following the proclamation signed by the Mayor on Monday, the City Council is set to issue a supporting resolution to be voted on no later than Friday, June 17. The holiday will be recognized as a City holiday on June 19 every year. Should the 19th fall on a Saturday, the holiday will be observed on the preceding Friday, and if it falls on a Sunday, it will be observed on the following Monday. This year, the holiday will be recognized on Monday, June 20.
“We need every Angeleno to learn the full story of our past, no matter the ugliness of some of its chapters – and that means recognizing the lasting legacy of slavery in our country,” said Mayor Garcetti. “While we can’t dislodge structural racism overnight, it’s our responsibility as a city to acknowledge hard truths and advance reforms, and by declaring Juneteenth an official holiday, we’re making it clear that the ending of slavery should be remembered as a watershed moment in American history.”
Juneteenth is commemorated on the anniversary of June 19, 1865, when Union Army General Gordon Granger issued an order proclaiming freedom for enslaved people in Texas, which was the last state of the Confederacy with legalized slavery. On June 17, 2021, President Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act to designate June 19 as a federal holiday commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African-Americans.
“We want every child to know what Juneteenth commemorates. The day — June 19, 1865 — in which a Union general arrived in Galveston, Texas, to inform the last African Americans still held in bondage in this nation that they were free and the Civil War was over,” Garcetti said Monday.
Juneteenth was recognized as an official federal holiday in 2021.