Montclair observing Juneteeth as a public holiday — offices will be closed
Montclair will observe Friday, June 18 as a public holiday in recognition of Juneteenth.
The holiday, which marks the end of slavery in the United States, is on June 19, which this year falls on a Saturday.
On June 18, municipal offices will be closed and refuse and recycling collection will be suspended.
“Juneteenth is not only a celebration of this momentous period in our history but also a day that affords us an opportunity to consider how much more needs to be done to ensure true equity and justice for all Americans,” Mayor Spiller said in an announcement from the township. "The need to recognize the challenges we still face as a nation, to confront the systemic racism rooted in so many of our institutions, and to truly live up to the ideals prescribed in the founding documents of this great nation is a call to action that each of us, as Americans, need to answer."
The holiday commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union General Gordon Granger rode into Galveston, Texas to inform enslaved people of the Emancipation Proclamation and their freedom — two months after the Civil War ended, and more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863.
In September of last year, Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation that designates the third Friday in June as Juneteenth, a State and public holiday.
Montclair schools also added Juneteenth to the school calendar in September.