Juneteenth has become a state holiday after lawmakers unanimously approved legislation during the Virginia General Assembly special session.
Juneteenth marks the day, June 19, that news of the Emancipation Proclamation reached Texas, which was the last state to abolish slavery. The companion bills were introduced by Sen. Mamie Locke (D-Hampton) and Del. Lamont Bagby (D-Richmond). Gov. Ralph Northam signed the legislation on Oct. 13.
“Juneteenth is the oldest celebration of the end of slavery in the United States,” Northam said during a press conference held that day. “It’s time we elevate this, not just a celebration by and for some Virginians, but one acknowledged and celebrated by all of us.”
Del. Joshua Cole (D-Fredericksburg) introduced a bill in the legislative session earlier this year to recognize Juneteenth, but the proposal didn’t advance.
Northam proposed making Juneteenth a state holiday in June during a press conference that included musician and Virginia-nativ...
To view the rest of this article, you must log in. If you do not have an account with us, please subscribe here.