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While most of us think that Juneteenth is a new holiday, it is not. Juneteenth is June 19th, but observed publicly on Monday, June 20th this year.

It is also known as Emancipation Day or Freedom Day, commemorating the Thirteenth Amendment, abolishing slavery.

The celebration began in 1866, in Galveston Texas. According to the National Archives, President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 and was passed at the end of the Civil War, but before the Southern states had been restored to the Union. The Thirteenth Amendment was submitted to the state legislatures and ratified by Congress in De cember of 1865.

In 2021 President Biden signed Juneteenth into law, a federal holiday.

Montana recognized Juneteenth as a holiday beginning in 2017 but, like many other states, has not yet established it as a state paid holiday or even as a legal holiday. Montana State holidays are established by MCA 1-1-216, which specifies the 10 legal holidays (11 in general election years). Apart from those holidays and weekends, County offices must be open every day. -bb