LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) — Lancaster County Commissioner Craig Lehman announced via Twitter on Wednesday that Juneteenth will officially be designated a Lancaster County holiday next year.
Lancaster County issued a Juneteenth proclamation in June 2021, but according to reporting by abc27 media partner LNP/LancasterOnline, Lehman wanted the county to go further, designating the day as a holiday like the state of Pennsylvania and the United States have done.
“Frankly, it was the Federal designation that resulted in Juneteenth becoming a County holiday. I doubt there would have been majority support for it absent that designation,” Lehman wrote in an email.
Juneteenth, celebrated on June 19, is a holiday that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. On June 19, 1865 — two months after the Civil War ended and more than two years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation — Union soldiers arrived in the westernmost Confederate state of Texas to announce the end of the war and the freedom of enslaved people.
“Celebrating Juneteenth is an opportunity to celebrate freedom and to learn more about this important event in our country’s history,” Lehman wrote.