Juneteenth is the oldest known commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States. It marks the day in 1865 that enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, finally heard that the Civil War had ended, and learned that the Emancipation Proclamation had made them free nearly two years earlier. This was a pivotal moment in American history when all enslaved black people finally learned they were free people. It was a moment of celebration and joy. It was a moment when America finally took a step closer to its promise of freedom, equality, and justice for all.
Governor Northam, and most recently the General Assembly, approved Juneteenth as a state holiday in the Commonwealth. It will be on this day, going forward, that we mark a holiday of education, reflection, and celebration. This year, the state holiday for Juneteenth is Friday, June 18. The division calendar, approved last school year, has June 18 as the final day for our ten-month employees. Therefore, Isle of Wight County Schools will recognize the state holiday on Monday, June 21, 2021. All IWCS buildings and offices will be closed on June 21 in observance of the Juneteenth holiday.