Juneteenth will be designated a state holiday in Kansas starting in 2024.
Gov. Laura Kelly announced Tuesday that Kansas will join 28 other states and the District of Columbia in recognizing June 19 as an official state holiday. In a statement, the governor says establishing Juneteenth as a state holiday provides an opportunity to celebrate the state’s diversity and honor ongoing struggles for racial equality.
Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when the last enslaved Americans received word that President Abraham Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation, abolishing slavery more than two years after the end of the Civil War. The day was designated a federal holiday in 2021.
The holiday will be a paid day off for Executive Branch employees under the governor’s jurisdiction.