BOISE, Idaho (KLIX)-A number of Idaho agencies like Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation and others will be closed Friday in observance of a new national holiday created by President Joe Biden.

President Biden signed into law Juneteenth National Independence Day marking the end of slavery in the United States following the Civil War, also known as Emancipation Day. Gov. Brad Little signed a proclamation recognizing June 19 as a new legal public holiday observed by Idaho law. Juneteenth is being celebrated on Friday because the new holiday falls on a Saturday. That means all State of Idaho executive branch entities will be closed. Several federal agencies like the U.S. Forest Service-Sawtooth National Forest will also be closed. You may want to check with the office you plan on doing business with before you arrive to be sure they are open.

The following is Gov. Little's proclamation:

JUNETEENTH NATIONAL INDEPENDENCE DAY

WHEREAS, Juneteenth celebrates the end of slavery in the United States and it is also known as Emancipation Day; and

WHEREAS, on June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, and announced the end of the Civil War and the end of slavery. Although the Emancipation Proclamation came more than two years earlier on January 1, 1863, many slave owners continued to hold their slaves captive after the announcement, so Juneteenth became a symbolic date representing African American freedom; and

WHEREAS, all Idahoans honor the countless contributions made by African Americans to our state and our nation; and

WHEREAS, Juneteenth marks the celebration of not just a moment in the past but also a renewed shared commitment to uniting as Americans to ensure equality and opportunity are a reality for all Americans, in the present and the future; and

WHEREAS, the United States Congress passed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act recognizing June 19 as a legal public holiday, which President of the United States Joseph R. Biden Jr. signed into law on June 17, 2021; and

WHEREAS, pursuant to Idaho Code §§ 73-108 and 67-5302, Saturday, June 19, 2021 is a new holiday recognized and observed by the State of Idaho; and

WHEREAS, holidays occurring on a Saturday are observed on the preceding Friday.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BRAD LITTLE, Governor of the State of Idaho, and pursuant to Idaho Code, do hereby recognize Juneteenth as a holiday and that state offices will be closed on Friday, June 18, 2021. However, the Office of the Governor will remain open and available to assist agencies and members of the public.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of the State of Idaho at the Capitol in Boise on this 17th day of June in the year of our Lord two thousand and twenty-one.

BRAD LITTLE

GOVERNOR

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