ND Senate Bill Seeks To Recognize Juneteenth
Bipartisan sponsors have introduced SB 2232. The bill is intended to officially recognize Juneteenth as a ceremonial holiday in North Dakota.
Don't feel alone just because if you have no idea what that means. I heard of Juneteenth for the first time last summer when crowds statewide were gathering to recognize the date. So I was aware that something called "Juneteenth" existed, but pretty sure I couldn't tell you a darn thing about it.
So, I did a little research to find out why it wants to be a holiday and more important to most of us- do we get the day off?
Let's turn to the Associated Press to find out why Juneteenth wants to be a holiday...
Juneteenth marks the day on June 19, 1865, that Union soldiers told enslaved African Americans in Galveston, Texas, that the Civil War had ended and they were free. The Emancipation Proclamation freed the slaves in the South in 1863, but it was not enforced in many places until after the end of the Civil War in 1865.
OK, fair enough in my book. Go ahead and recognize it. We should make sure we tell the rest of the country all about Juneteenth so they can get on board too!
I'm sorry, what?
It seems the only states in the whole darn union that currently don't recognize Juneteenth as a state or ceremonial holiday are South Dakota, Hawaii, and North Dakota. So 47 other states have all had an extra vacation day every year? How long has this been going on? But, now I'm just glad we're getting a vacation day in June! Let's ask the AP story about that...
Although the legislation would make June 19 a state-recognized holiday, it would not be an official paid holiday for state employees. Mathern said the bill would unlikely pass in the Legislature if it included paid time off for state workers.
So it will in fact be a ceremonial holiday. All the same- good luck Juneteenth!