A new federal holiday was established last year when legislation was signed making Juneteenth the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was created in 1983. Juneteenth National Independence Day, June 19, commemorates the end of slavery in the United States.
The holiday marks the anniversary of June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas, two months after the Confederacy had surrendered and about 2 1/2 years after the Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves in the Southern states. The term “Juneteenth” is a blend of the words June and nineteenth, the holiday has also been called Juneteenth Independence Day or Freedom Day.
Because the holiday falls on a Sunday this year all federal government offices and federal courts will be closed on Monday for the new holiday. Banks, post offices and financial markets will also be closed. There will be no mail delivery on June 20.
California has not yet designated Juneteenth as a state holiday, an amended version of the proposal to make Juneteenth a paid holiday for California state workers has passed the Assembly and moved to the Senate. When introduced earlier this year, the measure, sponsored by Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer, D-Los Angeles, would have made June 19 a paid holiday for civil service employees along with those who work for California State University and California Community Colleges. The proposal has since been amended. In its current form, Assembly Bill 1655 says state employees may take the day off on June 19 instead of using their “personal holiday” on another day. State employees receive one personal holiday per year that they may take any day, in addition to 11 paid holidays.
Los Angeles county offices and courts will be closed on June 20.
The city of Santa Clarita offices and services will be open on June 20.