Texas recognized Juneteenth as a state holiday in 1980, according to documents from the Texas State Historical Association. The holiday is often celebrated with family reunions, picnics, pageants and parades.
For 155 years, Juneteenth has commemorated the liberation of enslaved Black people in Texas. On June 19, 1865, Union Gen. Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston with news that enslaved Texans were freed, more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln's 1863 Emancipation Proclamation went into effect.
“I think the item speaks for itself—it’s long overdue," Mayor Pro Tem Omar Peña said.
Juneteenth is the latest city-recognized holiday in a list that includes New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas, among others. Per city documents, observances of city holidays includes city facility closures on the designated holidays.
City Manager Sereniah Breland confimed June 23 that, in adherence to other city observances, the holiday will be observed on the Friday prior or Monday after, depending on the day the official holiday falls.
“Thank you for making history, gentlemen," Mayor Victor Gonzales said.