TULSA, Okla. — The City of Tulsa and Tulsa County both announced Monday that they'd be adding Juneteenth as an official holiday beginning next year.
Juneteenth, celebrated every year on June 19, recognizes the day that the last of the U.S. slaves in Texas were freed in 1865.
President Joe Biden announced last summer that Juneteenth would be a federal holiday, but Monday's announcement in Tulsa applies that holiday status to city and county employees.
“Juneteenth is an important day in our country’s history, and I’m glad we are able to celebrate freedom for all Americans in this way by joining Tulsa County in adding Juneteenth to our official holiday schedule,” Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum said.
“I’m thankful that our employees at the City will have the opportunity to appropriately observe Juneteenth in the years ahead.”
It will serve as a paid holiday for city and county employees, including the Tulsa County District Court system.
“I am so pleased that we could come together as the Board of County Commissioners to give Juneteenth the honor it deserves,” Tulsa County Commissioner Karen Keith said.
“This is a very important day in our history and it’s only right that we ensure that our employees and citizens understand how seriously we feel about it. I am also thrilled that the City of Tulsa is formally acknowledging the importance of Juneteenth—having both of us make Juneteenth a holiday shows just how truly important it is to celebrate and commemorate what this day stands for.”
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