ARIZONA NEWS

Chandler adds Juneteenth as paid holiday for city employees

Aug 25, 2022, 4:15 AM | Updated: 7:10 am

PHOENIX – An East Valley suburb has joined the list of Phoenix-area communities recognizing Juneteenth as a city holiday.

The Chandler City Council voted last week to make Juneteenth, which commemorates the end of slavery in the U.S., the city’s 11th paid holiday.

Public libraries, parks, recreation and aquatic centers will remain open on the holiday.

Juneteenth has long been celebrated in the Black community on June 19, the date in 1865 when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved people in Galveston, Texas — two months after the Confederacy had surrendered and more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves in the Southern states.

Often celebrated at first with church picnics and speeches, the holiday spread across the nation and internationally as Black Texans moved elsewhere.

Chandler is the ninth Valley city to observe Juneteenth, joining Avondale, Goodyear, Litchfield Park, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Surprise, Tempe and Tolleson.

Last year, President Joe Biden signed a bipartisan bill to create an annual federal Juneteenth holiday.

It was the first federal holiday added since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was designated in 1983.

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Chandler adds Juneteenth as paid holiday for city employees