Juneteenth Holiday Closings & Notes
The country’s newest federal holiday, Juneteenth, will fall this year on Sunday, June 19.
The holiday will be observed on Monday, June 20, when Federal Reserve Banks and branches will be closed.
The United States Postal Service will also recognize the holiday, so there will be no mail delivery on Monday.
The office of The Newtown Bee will be open.
Governor Ned Lamont on May 27 formally signed into law Public Act 22-128, which established Connecticut’s new legal state holiday, known formally as Juneteenth Independence Day.
The effective date of the legislation as approved by the General Assembly is October 1, 2022, meaning the first time Juneteenth Independence Day will be legally recognized as a state holiday in Connecticut will be on June 19, 2023.
By law, legal state holidays are bank and credit union holidays, during which time, bank and credit union transactions are generally suspended.
The decision to close public schools on Juneteenth Independence Day will be made by each local school district. By law, each local and regional board of education that remains open on a legal state holiday must hold a suitable educational program in observance of the holiday. Classes in Newtown Public Schools are scheduled to conclude on June 16.
The legislation was approved on May 4 with the near-unanimous support of lawmakers in the General Assembly, by a vote of 148-1 in the House of Representatives, with two members absent and not voting; and 35-1 in the Senate, with all members present and voting.
Juneteenth In Brief
Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas — two years after the Confederacy had surrendered. That was also about 2½ years after the Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves in the Southern states.
While Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1862 to free enslaved people in Confederate states, it was June 1865 that many Black people still held in bondage in Texas were told that the order had freed them.
The isolation of Texas from the rest of the country and remote landscape kept Union soldiers from enforcing the message as quickly there as they had been able to elsewhere.
It was not until months later with the passage of the 13th Amendment that slavery was abolished on the federal level, not just in states that had aligned themselves with the Confederacy.
It is the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr Day was created in 1983 and took effect in 1986.