Gov. Walz declares Friday 'Juneteenth Freedom Day' in Minnesota, calls on lawmakers to make it a state holiday

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has declared Friday “Juneteenth Freedom Day” in Minnesota to commemorate this day in 1865 when slavery ended in the United States. 

Walz is also calling on the state Legislature to make Juneteenth a state holiday

“Juneteenth marks our country’s second Independence Day, celebrating freedom and justice and emphasizing education, achievement, and tolerance,” the governor’s proclamation reads. “We must do everything in our power to come together to deconstruct generations of systemic racism in our state so that every person in Minnesota – Black, Indigenous, Brown, and White – can be safe and thrive.”

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Lawmakers would need to pass legislation to establish Juneteenth as a state holiday. The Governor is asking the state legislative leaders to work with the community to draft and advance a bill that he could sign into law.

Currently, Texas is the only state that recognizes Juneteenth as an official holiday. 

A list of Minnesota’s Juneteenth celebrations can be found here