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Ricketts recognizes Juneteenth, grants Friday off to state workers
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Ricketts recognizes Juneteenth, grants Friday off to state workers

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Juneteenth Flag

The Juneteenth flag commemorates the day that slavery ended in the U.S.

Interesting Facts About Juneteenth. Juneteenth, which falls on June 19, marks the day General Gordon Granger announced to slaves in Galveston, Texas, that they were free. Here are some things to know about the historic event. President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, two and a half years prior to Granger's announcement, but slaves in Texas were not aware that they were free. The migration of freedpeople to northern regions or to track down family members became known as “the scatter.”. Juneteenth is still not a federal holiday, though most states recognize it as a national holiday. The Juneteenth flag is full of symbolism, with the bursting “new star” representing a new freedom and a new people

State offices will close and state employees will be given the day off Friday in observance of Juneteenth, according to a news release from the office of Gov. Pete Ricketts.

All University of Nebraska offices will also be closed Friday, according to an email sent to employees Thursday afternoon.

Ricketts signed a proclamation making Juneteenth a holiday in the state Thursday in anticipation of President Joe Biden making it a federal holiday, which occurred later Thursday. The holiday recognizes June 19, 1865, which was the day the last slaves in the U.S. were freed.

State law mandates that all federal holidays must be observed by the state government, the release said. Exceptions include military, law enforcement, security and other essential workers.

On Friday, the governor is slated to join state Sen. Terrell McKinney and others to sign ceremonial copies of LB451, which expands the ban on racial discrimination in employment to include discrimination based on natural hair texture and protective hairstyles, such as braids, locks and twists.

McKinney introduced the bill, which passed this spring.

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