April 19, 2024

Governor comments on Juneteenth federal holiday

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine issued the following statement on regarding federal legislation making Juneteenth a federal holiday:

“Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. Today, President Biden signed legislation making Juneteenth, June 19th, a federal holiday. This action by the president also makes Juneteenth a state holiday, pursuant to Ohio Revised Code §124.19, which defines state holidays as including ‘any day appointed and recommended by the governor of this state or the president of the United States.’

“Pursuant to that statute, I also appoint and recommend Juneteenth, June 19th, as a state holiday. I also support legislative efforts to commemorate Juneteenth in the Ohio Revised Code.

“Because Juneteenth falls on a Saturday, this makes the previous business day, Friday, June 18th, the day the state holiday is commemorated. This means that most state offices will be closed and most state employees will have the day off, with normal exceptions such as hospitals and public safety.”

In a statement from the White House, “On June 19, 1865 — nearly nine decades after our Nation’s founding, and more than 2 years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation — enslaved Americans in Galveston, Texas, finally received word that they were free from bondage.  As those who were formerly enslaved were recognized for the first time as citizens, Black Americans came to commemorate Juneteenth with celebrations across the country, building new lives and a new tradition that we honor today.”