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Juneteenth to be a state holiday in Washington state in 2022

May 13, 2021 GMT

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Thursday signed a measure making Juneteenth a legal state paid holiday, starting in 2022.

Juneteenth — also known as Emancipation Day and Freedom Day — commemorates when the last enslaved African Americans learned they were free on June 19, 1865 in Galveston, Texas, where Union soldiers brought them the news two years after the Emancipation Proclamation.

In 2007, the Legislature designated Juneteenth as a day of remembrance. South Dakota and Hawaii are the only other states that don’t have some sort of official observance of Juneteenth.