Federal government, Md., DC announce closures for Juneteenth

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan both announced Thursday that all state and city government agencies and offices will be closed Friday in honor of Juneteenth on Saturday.

Congress approved a bill to make June 19 — Juneteenth — the 12th federal holiday on Wednesday.

“This is an important step forward for our country,” Hogan said in a news release. “Maryland is proud to support this legislation, and observe this new national holiday.”

Virginia made Juneteenth a state holiday last year. Gov. Ralph Northam, in proposing the holiday, said the move “says to Black communities, ‘This is not just your history; it is everyone’s.’”

Hogan said that if a national holiday falls on a Saturday, state employees will honor the holiday the Friday before.

Bowser announced the District’s move to observe Juneteenth at a news conference on her 2022 proposed budget.

She went on to explain the difference between Juneteenth, the day that celebrates the end of slavery throughout the United States, and the District’s Emancipation Day, the day that celebrates the end of slavery in D.C.

Observing these holidays isn’t enough, she said.

“Neither one of them address what will truly make Washingtonians free in our system, and that’s statehood for the District of Columbia,” Bowser said.

President Biden is expected to sign the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act on Thursday, which will make Juneteenth a national holiday.

Most federal employees will observe Juneteenth on Friday.

More Juneteenth Coverage:

Hannah Parker

Hannah Parker is a writer and editor for WTOP. She is most interested in covering social issues in the D.C. area and is always looking for news tips and story ideas.

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