FLORENCE, S.C. (WBTW) – Florence is giving city employees a paid day off for Juneteenth, council decided on Monday.
Juneteenth is now an official city holiday after a resolution was passed by the council. The holiday celebrates the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States.
“Even upon July 4th, not all of our citizens were free,” said Mayor Teresa Myers Ervin at the council meeting. “It was not until Juneteenth that everyone had freedom. So that’s why it’s significant and why we celebrate both holidays.”
This means employees will have the day off, according to the city manager. All city offices and facilities will be closed.
The holiday is traditionally observed June 19. On that day in 1865, Union soldiers arriving in Texas and told enslaved African Americans that they were free. The next year, people who had been freed marked the event with a celebration that became the Juneteenth holiday.