Juneteenth, the holiday which marks the end of slavery in the United States, is celebrated on a federal level on Monday – June 19, but the state of New Jersey already celebrated on Friday.
Confused? Here is the reason.
The day was first recognized as a federal holiday when President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law in on June 17, 2021.
However, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy had already signed a law in September 2020 that established the day as an “official state and public holiday in New Jersey to be observed each year on the third Friday in June.”
Therefore, the state and federal Juneteenth holidays often do not fall on the same date.
So while it will business as usual for state and local government on Monday, because it is a federal holiday, the federal courts, postal service, and other federal services will be off.
The reason New Jersey did it the way it is, was a result of an amendment to the bill as it was being debated in committee, after lawmakers decided they wanted the state to observe a three-day weekend, as opposed to a separate day every year.
Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union General Gordon Granger rode into Galveston, Texas to inform enslaved people of the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation and their freedom.