Juneteenth was first recognized as a federal holiday in 2021, so federal offices are closed today in observance.

Many banks are also closed, as banks generally close on federal holidays. Juneteenth commemorates the arrival of federal troops in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865, and the announcement that slaves in Texas were now free.

While the Emancipation Proclamation two-and-a-half years earlier had legally ended slavery in the United States and the surrender of the Confederacy in April of 1865 had led to the actual freeing of most slaves in the south, slavery had de facto continued in Texas, which was mostly untouched by the Civil War and where many slaveholders had continued the practice even after the war ended.

But Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston on June 19 and issued an order freeing the remaining slaves in that state.

While Juneteenth is being recognized as a federal holiday for the first time this year, it's not a state holiday in Wyoming or many other states for that matter. But state Representative Landon Brown [R-Laramie County] says he plans to introduce legislation that would make it a state holiday in Wyoming. On his Facebook page, Brown posted the following over the weekend:

''This upcoming legislative session, I will sponsor a bill that will recognize this day as an official state holiday just as it is recognized at the federal level. I have the bill draft in the works and will fight hard to pass this meaningful piece of legislation.''
He offered additional comment to Townsquare Media on the subject:
“Juneteenth is a holiday that we should be celebrating. Our nation recognizes this day for our public employees and I’d like to recognize it similarly for our public employees in our state including local governments as well."

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