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Charleston County Council set to vote on Juneteenth holiday

Published: Oct. 7, 2021 at 5:46 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 7, 2021 at 4:31 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Charleston County leaders are expected to vote Thursday on making Juneteenth a county-recognized holiday.

The county’s finance committee’s agenda states the county will incur approximately $100,000 in holiday pay costs for county employees who will be required to work on the holiday.

The county’s human resources department is requesting the council’s direction on making Juneteenth a county-observed holiday. That comes after President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law on June 17, making Juneteenth the 11th federal holiday.

Juneteenth commemorates when the last enslaved African Americans learned they were free. Confederate soldiers surrendered in April 1865, but word didn’t reach the last enslaved Black people until June 19, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to Galveston, Texas. That was also about two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation freeing slaves in the Southern states.

The last time a federal holiday was created was in 1983 for Martin Luther King Day.

Copyright 2021 WCSC. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.