BOSTON (CBS) — Juneteenth is officially a state holiday in Massachusetts.

June 19 marks the day in 1865 that enslaved Africans in Galveston, Texas learned of their freedom. On Friday, Gov. Charlie Baker signed a $1.1 billion supplemental budget that designated the holiday and covered some of the state’s COVID-19 spending.

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Baker wrote that the legislation “establishes Juneteenth Independence Day as an annual state holiday on June 19 in order to recognize the continued need to ensure racial freedom and equality.”

There was a new energy for Juneteenth commemorations this year in the wake of George Floyd’s killing. More municipalities, states and companies have recently decided to recognize Juneteenth as a holiday.


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