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Gov. Sisolak applauds President Biden, Congress for making Juneteenth a federal holiday

Juneteenth Lincoln Museum
Posted at 9:46 PM, Jun 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-18 02:50:03-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Gov. Steve Sisolak applauded President Joe Biden and Congress on Thursday for establishing June 19 as Juneteenth National Independence Day, a U.S. federal holiday.

Juneteenth is the nationally recognized observance of the final freeing of enslaved people almost two and a half years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.

RELATED: Juneteenth becomes federal holiday after bill receives Biden’s signature

The governor has issued a proclamation naming June 19, 2021, as Juneteenth National Freedom Day.

On Saturday, Gov. Sisolak will join the DISCOVERY Children’s Museum in Las Vegas for a flag-raising ceremony and poetry reading by Poet Laureate for Clark County Vogue Robinson in honor of Juneteenth.

RELATED: Juneteenth celebrations in Las Vegas | 2021

“Celebrating Black freedom and achievement on Juneteenth is more important now than ever and is a critical part of American history,” Sisolak said.

“I encourage all Nevadans to join me in observing Juneteenth this Saturday to commemorate the day when the message was delivered to the last American slaves that they were now free."

RELATED: Do you know what Juneteenth is?

Nevada state law does not allow the governor to unilaterally have this new Federal holiday observed on a weekday when it falls on a weekend date, therefore Juneteenth will not be observed as a statewide holiday on Friday. However, Gov. Sisolak says he looks forward to working with state lawmakers to celebrate and observe Juneteenth as a weekday statewide holiday going forward.

Local governments and agencies should refer to their own local ordinances to determine whether they have the authority to declare holidays and/or office closures.