Easton will observe Juneteenth next year by closing town offices. 

Juneteenth commemorates the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States and marks the day when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas in 1865 to take control of the state and ensure all enslaved people were freed.

First Selectman David Bindelglass said giving town workers the day off on June 19, 2023, follows the lead of the federal and state government which made the day a legal holiday. 

Juneteenth became an official federal holiday last year when President Joe Biden signed it into law. Several states and local governments followed suit.

In May Gov. Ned Lamont signed legislation recognizing Juneteenth as a legal state holiday. The law went into effect Oct. 1 of this year, meaning on June 19, 2023, state government offices will be closed and state workers will have a paid day off.

Last year in nearby Westport, town offices were closed on Monday, June 20 following the federal recognition of the Juneteenth holiday. Westport First Selectwoman Jennifer Tooker stated she believed “the recognition and commemoration of this historically significant date in our collective American history is worthy of a holiday for Town of Westport employees starting this year.”

The decision to close public schools on Juneteenth is made by each local school district, according to Lamont’s office. The state holiday will fall on a Monday next year.  

Dr. Jason McKinnon, the superintendent for Easton, Redding, Region 9, said in an email “that the district school calendar is already set for 2020-2023. The last day of school is scheduled for June 15. It is too early to say if school is open longer due to weather issues.”

Connecticut joins a growing number of states that legally recognize Juneteenth as a public holiday following the federal government’s designation, according to the Pew Research Center as of June 16, 2022.

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