Juneteenth Declared Holiday In South Dakota

 Gov. Kristi Noem has signed a bill that makes Juneteenth an official state holiday in South Dakota.

South Dakota was the last state to make June 19 a legal holiday with North Dakota approving legislation last April and Hawaii declaring the holiday with legislation in June.

Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the U.S., when three months after the Civil War ended and 2 1/2 years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed, word of freedom was spread to enslaved Black people in Texas.

While Noem proclaimed Juneteenth holidays in 2020 and 2021, there was a push in the 2021 legislative session, and again this year, for South Dakota to finally declare it as an annual, official state holiday.

If Juneteenth falls on a Sunday, the Monday following will be an observed legal holiday; if it falls on a Saturday, the preceding Friday will be an observed legal holiday.