Rep. Fentrice Driskell is closing her office Friday in recognition of Juneteenth, a holiday celebrating the emancipation of slaves in the U.S. on June 19, 1865.
This year is the 155th anniversary of federal troops arriving in Galveston, Texas to inform enslaved African Americans they were now free.
Though the announcement came more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the emancipation proclamation, slaves in Galveston were the last to learn of their new freedom, marking the unofficial end of slavery in the United States.
“It is past time for the state of Florida and the federal government to recognize Juneteenth as a legal holiday. While Juneteenth is a Day of Observance in our state, that recognition does not rise to the status of a legal holiday and simply is not enough,” Driskell said.