Friday, June 18, 2021 - 01:32 pm

North Dakota will observe Juneteenth under a new state law Saturday, after the Legislature passed and Gov. Doug Burgum signed legislation in April designating June 19 as Juneteenth in North Dakota.

Burgum also has issued a proclamation declaring June 19, 2021, as Juneteenth Celebration Day in North Dakota. The governor issued a similar proclamation last year.

“We encourage North Dakotans to observe this commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States and celebrate the ideals of liberty, justice and equality for all citizens,” Burgum said.

President Joe Biden on Thursday signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act establishing June 19 as a federal holiday. Because June 19 falls on a Saturday this year, most federal employees are observing the holiday today.

North Dakota holidays are designated in state law under North Dakota Century Code, Chapter 1-03. While Juneteenth is not currently a state holiday in law, Burgum expressed his willingness to work with North Dakota lawmakers to consider adding it to the list of holidays for future years.