Washington’s largest county moves to make Juneteenth holiday

SEATTLE (AP) — Juneteenth, the holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, is likely to become an official paid holiday for King County employees, under legislation advanced by the Metropolitan King County Council. The Seattle Times reports a County Council committee, made up of every member of the County Council, voted 5-1 this week to add Juneteenth to the county’s slate of 10 paid holidays. Juneteenth is celebrated on June 19 and marks the day that Union soldiers arrived in Texas in 1865 and announced that all enslaved people had been freed. The Emancipation Proclamation had freed enslaved people over two years before, but the news, and Union soldiers to enforce the change, had not reached Texas.