Governor Sisolak issues statement on federal establishment of Juneteenth National Independence Day

LAS VEGAS, NV – June 17, 2021

Today, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak applauded President Joe Biden and Congress for establishing June 19 as Juneteenth National Independence Day – a U.S. federal holiday which commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. Juneteenth is the nationally recognized observance of the final freeing of enslaved people almost two and a half years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.

The Governor has issued a proclamation naming June 19, 2021, as Juneteenth National Freedom Day. On Saturday, the Governor will join the DISCOVERY Children’s Museum in Las Vegas for a flag raising ceremony and poetry reading by Poet Laureate for Clark County Vogue Robinson in honor of Juneteenth.

“Celebrating Black freedom and achievement on Juneteenth is more important now than ever and is a critical part of American history,” Sisolak said. “I encourage all Nevadans to join me in observing Juneteenth this Saturday to commemorate the day when the message was delivered to the last American slaves that they were now free."

Nevada state law does not allow the Governor to unilaterally have this new Federal holiday observed on a weekday when it falls on a weekend date, therefore Juneteenth will not be observed as a statewide holiday tomorrow, Friday, June 18, 2021. However, the Governor does look forward to working with state lawmakers to celebrate and observe Juneteenth as a weekday statewide holiday going forward.

Local governments and agencies should refer to their own local ordinances to determine whether they have authority to declare holidays and/or office closures.



Meghin Delaney
Communications Director