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Summit County Welcomes "Juneteenth"

Summit County closed its offices Friday in honor of “Juneteenth.”

That was on the heels of President Joe Biden signing legislation Thursday that makes June 19th a federal holiday.   

A statement from Summit County Council Chair Glenn Wright says the new holiday commemorates June 19th, 1865, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people in Galveston Texas.  It is the oldest known celebration in honor of the end of slavery in the United States.

The statement adds, “Summit County is honored to join people of all races, nationalities and religions across the nation, to truthfully acknowledge a dark period in our history; a time that shaped and continues to influence our society today.   On this day, and every day, let us strive to truly live up to the words found in the Declaration of Independence that “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

While the County closed to honor the holiday on Saturday, the office of Utah Governor Spencer Cox issued an advisory that state offices were open Friday.

The statement said that a tweet from the Governor recognized  Juneteenth as a cultural celebration.     But for the day to become a state holiday, it must be approved by the state Legislature.