Many City of Grand Rapids offices will be closed today, June 19, Juneteenth Freedom Day.
On June 17, 2021 Juneteenth became a federal holiday after Congress passed The Juneteenth National Independence Day Act.
A brief history of Juneteenth
The Emancipation Proclamation was made in 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln declared: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” The proclamation became policy with the passing of the Thirteenth Amendment by the Senate (on April 8, 1864), and by the House on January 31, 1865. In spite of this, not everyone in Confederate territory was immediately freed. In Texas, enslaved people were not liberated until Union troops arrived in Galveston June 19, 1865. More than 250,000 enslaved black people in the state were free by executive decree that day.
Some City of Grand Rapids facilities to remain open
While the bulk of the city offices will be closed today, refuse, recycling and yard waste curbside collections will take place as scheduled June 19. The City’s yard waste drop-off site at 2001 Butterworth St. SW will be open 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. June 19. All Grand Rapids Public Library locations will be open. For 24-hour access to a variety of City services 365 days a year, visit grandrapidsmi.gov.