In aligning with Oregon’s passing of House Bill 2168, June 19th is recognized as a state holiday, therefore Full Access High Desert offices will be closed Monday June 20th and will reopen Tuesday June 21st.

June 19th or “Juneteenth” is a very important day in African American history. Juneteenth, or “Freedom Day” is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.

This holiday is considered the “longest running African-American holiday” and has been called “America’s second Independence Day.” It was on June 19, 1865 that Union soldiers, led by Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger, landed in Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that all slaves were free.

On June 15, 2021, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved the bill that makes Juneteenth a legal public holiday. The measure is expected to be approved by the Democratic-led House of Representatives as well, but the timing is unclear.

“Making Juneteenth a federal holiday is a major step forward to recognize the wrongs of the past,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a statement, “but we must continue to work to ensure equal justice and fulfill the promise of the Emancipation Proclamation and our Constitution.”