Juneteenth now a St. Paul school district holiday

The St. Paul Public Schools Board of Education has made Juneteenth a district holiday.

The board approved a resolution to make June 19 a paid holiday at its meeting Tuesday night. District officials say when the holiday falls on a Sunday — such as in 2022 — the holiday will be celebrated the following Monday, and if it falls on a Saturday, the holiday will be celebrated on the preceding Friday.

Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when the last enslaved people in the country learned of their freedom. It was about 2 1/2 years after the Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves in Southern states.

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Additionally, the resolution passed by the board encourages the Minnesota Legislature and Gov. Tim Walz to make Juneteenth an official, state-recognized holiday.

Many localities, including both Minneapolis and St. Paul, as well as Hennepin and Ramsey counties, already recognize Juneteenth as an official holiday, as does a growing number of businesses.