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Cleveland Cavaliers organization to observe Juneteenth as annual paid holiday

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Posted at 7:57 PM, Jun 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-15 19:57:38-04

CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Cavaliers announced that on Friday, June 19, the organization will begin observing Juneteenth as an annual paid holiday.

Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, is an American holiday commemorating June 19, 1865—the date in which Union Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas and announced that the Civil War had ended and all those still enslaved were free.

Although the Emancipation Proclamation had been signed two years before Granger made the announcement in Texas, the state was still heavily involved in slavery as Union troops were minimal in the area, making enforcement of the order to free all slaves difficult.

The holiday lost traction in the early 1900s but saw a resurgence during the Civil Rights movement. In 1980, Juneteenth became an official state holiday in Texas. Since then, 47 states have recognized Juneteenth as a state holiday or ceremonial holiday—Ohio made the decision in 2006.

The Cavaliers said that they encourage people to use the day to “learn more about freedom for all, the fight for equality, and the struggle to end racial injustice.”