The Town of Marion will join other communities and the Commonwealth of Virginia in observing the holiday of Juneteenth this Friday, June 19, 2020. Town Hall and most municipal services will be closed in that observance.
Juneteenth, which is also called Emancipation Day and Freedom Day, is celebrated annually on June 19. The holiday commemorates June 19, 1865, when the 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. When Union soldiers arrived in Galveston to bring the news that slavery had been abolished, former slaves celebrated. Texas first made it a state holiday in 1980. Governor Northam's Executive Order on Tuesday made Juneteenth a holiday for Virginia state employees this year. Northam will work with the legislature later this year to pass a law codifying Juneteenth as a permanent state holiday, making Virginia only the second state to do so.