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City Council Approves Juneteenth Holiday Beginning in 2021

Post Date:07/22/2020 9:49 AM

At its July 21 meeting, the Greensboro City Council unanimously approved Juneteenth as a paid holiday for City employees beginning in 2021.

“As with Martin Luther King Jr Day, it’s a day on, not a day off,’” said City Council representative Sharon Hightower. “It’s a day to go learn something that you didn’t know about an African-American friend.”

Juneteenth is the oldest known commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.  On June 19, 1865, General Gordon Granger announced that slaves in Texas were free by order of the President of the United States.  The announcement came two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation - which had become official January 1, 1863.

This year, the City hosted a day of free, virtual Juneteenth activities in celebration and remembrance on Friday, June 19. Videos, Facebook Live events, and Zoom calls were held from 9 am through 7:30 pm. Events included cooking segments, historical perspectives, arts performances, panel discussions, and more. Events were broadcast on the City of Greensboro’s Facebook page.

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