DENVER, CO – The House State, Civic, Military & Veterans Affairs Committee today passed legislation to make Juneteenth a Colorado state holiday. SB22-139, championed by Representative Leslie Herod and members of the Black Democratic Legislative Caucus of Colorado, commemorates the day when enslaved Black people were freed after Union Soldiers arrived in Texas to announce the end of the Civil War and the effect of the Emancipation Proclamation.
“It’s time we make Juneteenth a state holiday in Colorado,” said Chairwoman of the Black Democratic Legislative Caucus of Colorado, Rep. Leslie Herod (D-Denver). “This significant Emancipation Day has been celebrated by the Black community for generations and deserves statewide recognition, celebration and reflection. I’m proud to champion this important legislation that not only educates Coloradans on the atrocities of slavery, but makes way for voices of the Black community. The historical legacy of Juneteenth shows the value of never giving up hope in uncertain times.”
SB22-139 passed commitee by a vote of 10 to 1 and would make Juneteenth an official state holiday. Juneteenth National Independence Day commemorates June 19, 1865, when Major General Gordon Granger and Union Soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas to announce the end of the Civil War and declare the freedom of more than 250,000 enslaved Black people. Juneteenth is also known as Jubilee Day, Freedom Day, and Emancipation Day.
This significant day in history became the 11th federal holiday in June 2021 and is also known as the country’s second Independence Day.