Juneteenth has officially been declared a state holiday in Nevada, reports KTVN.
Following a 40 to 1 vote in the state Assembly and a 19 to 2 vote in the state Senate, Gov. Joe Lombardo signed Assembly Bill 140 into law on Thursday.
Per the legislation, Juneteenth will be observed on June 19th every year, in the “Silver State” unless it falls on a weekend then it would be observed on either the Friday before or the Monday after the holiday.
Lombardo took to Twitter to announce the landmark legislation.
“Today, I was honored to sign AB 140, which officially made Juneteenth a state holiday in Nevada,” his tweet read. “Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the United States, and I’m proud that Nevada will now recognize this holiday on a state and federal level.”
“As the first state to ratify the 15th Amendment, which gave African Americans the right to vote, Nevada has a long and proud history of supporting civil rights,” Democratic Assemblywoman Claire Thomas, one of the bill sponsors added. “By designating Juneteenth as a state holiday, Nevada continues to honor that legacy and celebrate the progress that has been made in the fight for equality.”
Juneteenth began when the news of the abolition of slavery reached Galveston, Texas in 1865, which was more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation that ended slavery was signed by President Abraham Lincoln, and five months after the 13th Amendment which declared all enslaved people free. Annually, the celebration was held in Texas but spread as Black people migrated throughout the country.
In 2021 President Joe Biden signed a bill passed by Congress to make Juneteenth a federal holiday.