Fulton County Board of Commissioners Declares Juneteenth a County Holiday

Fulton County Board of Commissioners Declares Juneteenth a County Holiday

July 13, 2020
Day marking the end of slavery to be added to County calendar in 2021
On July 8, 2020, the Fulton County Commissioners voted to make Juneteenth a county holiday. 

Juneteenth, traditionally observed on June 19, is the observance marking the end of slavery in the United States.  Starting in 2021, Juneteenth will replace Columbus Day on the County holiday calendar.

The legislation was sponsored by District 6 Commissioner Joe Carn and co-sponsored by District 4 Commissioner Natalie Hall and Vice-Chairman and District 5 Commissioner Marvin S. Arrington, Jr. 

“I am honored and proud to represent the tradition of metro Atlanta and Fulton County leadership in the continuing fight for equity and justice for all residents,” says District 6 Commissioner Joe Carn. “I believe that we are witnessing something that our ancestors have been waiting and praying over for years.”

“Now Fulton County proudly joins the municipalities and corporations that have taken the step of commemorating the freedom of the African American community,” says co-sponsor and District 4 Commissioner Natalie Hall. “This is more than a symbolic step, but one that we hope will allow all people to reflect upon the fight for liberty.”

“Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, the day that Union troops freed the last group of enslaved Blacks in Galveston, TX,” says co-sponsor and Fulton County Commission Vice Chairman Marvin S. Arrington, Jr. “This is an acknowledgement of our progress on issues of race and the strides that we as a country still need to make.”

Starting in 2021, County offices will be closed on June 19, or on the Friday prior to June 19 when that date falls on a Saturday, or on the Monday following June 19 when it falls on a Sunday. Juneteenth is recognized by 46 states and the District of Columbia as either an official state holiday or observance. In 1980, Texas was the first state to recognize Juneteenth as a paid holiday for its employees. This year marks the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth.