Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, is a holiday in the United States honoring African American heritage by commemorating the announcement of the abolition of slavery in the U.S. State of Texas in 1865. Celebrated on June 19, the term is a portmanteau of June and nineteenth, and is recognized as a state holiday in 36 states of the United States.
The state of Texas is widely considered the first U.S. state to begin Juneteenth celebrations with informal observances taking place for over a century, it has been an official state holiday since 1980. It is considered a "partial staffing holiday", meaning that state offices do not close, but some employees will be using a floating holiday to take the day off. Its observance has spread to many other states, with a few celebrations even taking place in other countries.
As of March 2010, 36 states and the District of Columbia have recognized Juneteenth as either a state holiday or state holiday observance; these are Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
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