West Virginia city approves Juneteenth holiday proposal

Published: Jun. 17, 2020 at 10:07 PM EDT
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(AP) - The Huntington City Council in West Virginia on Wednesday unanimously approved a proposal to make Juneteenth a permanent city holiday.

The celebration commemorates the end of slavery in the U.S. Huntington Mayor Steve Williams told council members before the vote that it was important for city leaders to make such a statement.

The holiday commemorates June 19, 1865, when news finally reached African Americans in Texas that President Abraham Lincoln had issued the Emancipation Proclamation freeing slaves living in Confederate states two years earlier.

Under the proposal, city workers will receive holiday pay on Friday.

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