MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Common Council approved an ordinance Tuesday making Juneteenth Day an official city holiday.
“Juneteenth Day (June 19) holds a special significance for so many people. It is a federal holiday and a few years ago Milwaukee County passed legislation recognizing Juneteenth Day as an official holiday and it is time now for this important day to be recognized officially at the city level,” Alderwoman Coggs said. “Juneteenth Day represents a significant moment in history for many in this country. I want to thank my colleagues for their overwhelming support of this file and recognition of the importance of Juneteenth Day."
In 2021, Juneteenth became the 12th federal legal holiday. Numerous states also recognize it as a state legal holiday, and others as a day of observance. Juneteenth is honored on June 19 and commemorates the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States. On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas to announce the Civil War had ended, as well as the enslavement of Black people.
“With the passing of this legislation, the city will celebrate a significant moment in history for many thousands of our fellow citizens and neighbors, and having city workers be able to fully celebrate the day as a holiday is tremendously positive,” Coggs said.