SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — Illinois Gov. JB Prtizker signed a proclamation on Friday, June 19th declaring the day as Juneteenth in the state.
Juneteenth marks the anniversary of June 19th, 1865, the day Union soldiers landed in Galveston, Texas and proclaimed that slavery had ended and the Civil War was over.
The Governor has ordered all state flags to fly at half-mast in observance.
In a statement, Pritzker said he will work with the General Assembly to pass a law making Juneteenth an official state holiday permanently.
“This Juneteenth comes as hundreds of thousands of protestors across the nation and across Illinois, from Rockford to East St. Louis to Chicago to Springfield to Champaign to Anna and dozens of towns in between, have taken to the streets to call for justice and change – and through protest and policy, we’re going to make that change. From genuine criminal justice reform to a fundamentally reimagined vision of policing to sustained investment in Black communities, we will build an Illinois that prioritizes justice, equity and opportunity for all our people,” Pritzker said.
“I encourage all Illinoisans to take today to reflect on our history, our future and the actions we can take, individually and collectively as a state, to truly build ourselves into the equitable nation of our ideals – a land of freedom and opportunity for all,” he continued.
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