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City of Monroe, N.C. unanimously declares Juneteenth as a city holiday

Juneteenth is a holiday celebrated on June 19 to commemorate the emancipation of slaves in the...
Juneteenth is a holiday celebrated on June 19 to commemorate the emancipation of slaves in the U.S.(Pixabay)
Published: Dec. 9, 2020 at 5:41 PM EST
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MONROE, N.C. (WBTV) - The city of Monroe has unanimously declared Juneteenth as a city holiday.

Monroe City Council unanimously approved the recognition and observance of Juneteenth as a city holiday at its regular council meeting on Dec. 1.

Monroe Mayor Bobby Kilgore said the holiday is of great meaning and importance to the residents of the city and country.

Juneteenth is the day marking the end of slavery in the United States. On June 19, 1865, Union Gen. Gordon Granger informed enslaved African-Americans in Galveston, Texas that they were free and that the Civil War had ended.

In 1979, Texas became the first state to make Juneteenth an official holiday. While most states recognize Juneteenth in some fashion, is has yet to be declared a national holiday.

During the council meeting, Councilman Franco McGee initiated discussion regarding adding the holiday and said he wanted Monroe to be forward thinking in recognizing the significance of the day.

Monroe joins the likes of Durham, Greensboro, Apex, Vance and a handful of North Carolina municipalities in offering the day as a paid city holiday.

Of the 47 states that do acknowledge Juneteenth in one way or another, Texas, Virginia, New York and Pennsylvania are the only ones recognizing it as an official paid holiday for state employees.

In addition to Juneteenth, the city of Monroe recognizes New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr., Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day as paid holidays.

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