AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) – Most government offices are closed for the first time today in recognition of Juneteenth.
President Joe Biden signed the bill yesterday, designating June 19 as a new federal holiday.
But in South Carolina, Juneteenth is not a state holiday so state employees don’t have a paid day off.
There is a new bill to change that. However, many people never even knew why June 19 was such a historic time in Black history.
Galveston, TX is home of Juneteenth and they have been celebrating for decades.
Juneteenth is ultimately when enslaved people found out they were free back in 1865.
That came two years after the emancipation proclamation which was ultimately signed by Abraham Lincoln.
The Band of Brothers of Augusta’s founder says events tomorrow are to educate and empower people to know all history including black history.
“I just want them to remember just to celebrate it. No matter how they do it, even if you just do a cookout in your backyard. Whatever it is you do for the fourth of July, for Cinco De Mayo, St. Patrick’s Day, all these other holidays. Just do it for us, that’s it,” Johnny Gregory, Band of Brothers of Augusta president, said.
Though it’s unfortunate that recent historic events and tragedies had to happen for people to realize the importance of making that day, Gregory hopes this is the start of more change.