BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Gov. John Bel Edwards is shutting down state offices early Friday. The Democratic governor is giving workers a half-day off in honor of Juneteenth.
That’s the day commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. Edwards recently signed a bill by Baton Rouge Rep. Larry Selders making Juneteenth a legal state holiday.
The new law designates the third Saturday in June as Juneteenth Day. The governor’s office says all state offices will be closed the Friday before that Saturday annually starting in 2022.
Juneteenth officially falls on June 19. It honors the day in 1865 when enslaved Blacks in Texas were freed with the arrival of federal troops.