Mayor Purzycki Says Wilmington will Commemorate Juneteenth as a Day of Reflection; City Offices will be Closed
Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki has announced that City government offices will close tomorrow, Friday, June 19, for Juneteenth, an annual national observance marking the effective end of slavery in the United States. A combination of “June” and “nineteenth,” the Juneteenth holiday commemorates the date – June 19, 1865 – that many enslaved people in the state of Texas learned that they had been freed.
“I urge the people of Wilmington to use Juneteenth as a day of reflection,” said Mayor Purzycki. “If we’ve learned anything from the events of the past month or so, we have much soul-searching to do. We need to focus on how to correct the fact that we’ve made so little progress regarding true equality and respect for all people. On Juneteenth of 2021 we can have a genuine celebration that reflects the progress we will have made over the past year toward racial justice and other reforms that will end the disenfranchisement of much of our City’s population.”
Juneteenth is considered the longest-established African American holiday. Texas became the first state to make Juneteenth an official holiday, in 1979; today Delaware, 46 other states, and the District of Columbia recognize the date as either a state holiday or ceremonial holiday. Efforts to make the day a national holiday have stalled in the U.S. Congress, however.
History Channel link to the history of Juneteenth: https://www.history.com/news/what-is-juneteenth
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