COLUMBIA, Md. — Juneteenth will be recognized as an official Howard County government holiday.
On Thursday, Howard County Governor Calvin Ball announced that the county would recognize June 19, also known as Juneteenth, as Juneteenth National Freedom Day.
Juneteenth celebrates the end of slavery in the United States. It marks the day when the news of the Emancipation Proclamation finally reached slaves in Texas, more than two years after it was signed.
In 2021, June 19 will fall on a Saturday, therefore, county employees will receive paid holiday leave on Friday, June 18. County employees required to work will receive pay based as articulated in the Employee Manual or their applicable bargaining agreement.
"Juneteenth provides the opportunity for our Howard County community to recognize the legacy, the painful legacy, of slavery in America, the momentous movement to abolish slavery, and the continuous effort to ensure equal rights for all in America."
Ball says this is also a chance to send a message to the rest of Maryland, the United States and the world of perseverance, unity, and hope for brighter tomorrows for all.
Howard County holds a Juneteenth celebration every year at Oakland Manor.