AURORA, Ill. (CBS) – Aurora City Council voted Tuesday to make Juneteenth a paid holiday for city staff.
The resolution was signed by Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin on Tuesday evening. This makes June 19 a paid holiday starting this year.
READ MORE: Tacarre Harper, alleged leader of Smash and Grab’ burglars who targeted stores on Mag Mile and around town, arrested and charged
Non-emergency municipal offices will be closed on June 19 if it falls on a weekday. The public holiday will change to Friday if June 19 falls on a Saturday, or Monday if June 19 falls on a Sunday.
READ MORE: Boy, 15, shot and killed on the south side
Mayor Irvin announced the proposal last summer at Aurora’s 20th annual June 19 celebration last year. It was put on the city council’s agenda to be voted on during Black History Month.
“It is not lost on me the doors that opened before I got here to be the first African-American mayor of the city of Aurora in 180 years,” Irvin said as he signed the resolution. “I don’t lose sight of what we are all doing now to continue opening doors and leading the way for young people.”
NO MORE NEWS: Disabled veterans join special winter sports event at McKinley Park
Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union troops arrived in Galveston, Texas with the news that the Civil War was over and slavery had been abolished, freeing the last of the enslaved African Americans still held in the Confederation. This was more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation.