Without taking a hard and close look at the past, we can't move forward in the future. Luckily the state of Colorado realizes this and moving forward an important day in history has been marked as a state holiday.

According to a press release from the office of the Governor of Colorado Jared Polis, SB22-139 has been signed into law, making June 19th AKA Juneteenth, an official state holiday.

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What is Juneteenth?

June 19th commonly referred to as Juneteenth, Jubilee Day, and Freedom Day is the date that marks the liberation of blacks in the south and other confederate states.

While the Emancipation Proclamation issued by President Lincoln in 1863 sought to free the slaves, many black people were unaware that they had even been set free because they were not told.

It wasn't until June 19, 1865, almost two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation, that word of freedom came to enslaved blacks via Union soldiers who arrived in Galveston, Texas, and announced the end of the Civil War.

Legal State Holidays in Colorado

The state of Colorado now recognizes the following dates as official state holidays:

  • New Year's Day
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • President's Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Jubilee Day AKA Juneteenth
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Frances Xavier Cabrini Day
  • Veterans Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day

What It Means to Recognize Juneteenth in Colorado

Sen. James Coleman, D-Denver said it best when speaking about the new state holiday in Colorado:

Making Juneteenth a state holiday means Colorado would not only recognize that Black people are free, but that all people are free. It is a recognition that we not only desire for some Coloradans to prosper, but for all to prosper, and for all Coloradans, regardless of race or background, to earn a living wage, have an affordable place to call home, and get the equitable access to health care and education people need to move forward and thrive.

While Juneteenth marked the end of slavery for blacks in America, their fight for equality was and in many ways still is far from over.

Read More: When Did Segregation End in Colorado? |

Grand Junction Colorado Historical Facts You May or May Not Know

We're scrolling through a timeline of Grand Junction history with a look at fun facts you may or may not have known from 1882 to 2020.

28 Random Historic Photos from Around Colorado

Colorado's history runs deep. From pioneers making their way across the United States to gold prospectors searching for riches, you'll find the state's historic past no matter where you look.

Take a gander through these photos from black and whites, to hand-drawn sketches of historical events.