Monday, June 19, marks the third timeis observed nationwide as a federal holiday.
A commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States, Juneteenth is also called Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, and its roots date back more than 150 years. The origins of Juneteenth stem from an important date after the Civil War — June 19, 1865 — when the Union General Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, to inform the country’s last enslaved people that they had been freed under the Emancipation Proclamation. Even though the proclamation had passed years before, that day in 1865 is remembered as the effective conclusion to centuries of slavery in America.
As the Black Lives Matter movement gained renewed momentum in 2020, so did public interest in the significance of Juneteenth and calls for its recognition on a national scale. The following summer, President Joe Biden signed legislation that officially declared Juneteenth a federal holiday, which falls annually on the 19th of June.
With the law’s passage, Juneteenth became the 12th federal holiday formally recognized by the U.S. government. And, while people across the country attend parades and festivals over the long weekend, a number of government agencies, including some state governments, .
All non-essential federal offices will be closed on Monday, as they typically are during other federal holidays, meaning federal courts and banks will not operate as usual. State governments and related non-essential offices in places like New York, where Juneteenth is recognized as a state holiday in addition to a federal one, will close as well. Although most ATMs should remain open for normal use, the largest banks, like JP Morgan, Wells Fargo and Bank of America will not because they follow the yearly calendar set by the Federal Reserve Bank, and that complies with the national holiday schedule.
Neither will the stock market, which remained open during the inaugural Juneteenth federal holiday in 2021. Wall Street acknowledges the holiday this year, with NASDAQ confirming last month that the stock market will be closed to observe Juneteenth on Monday, like it was in 2022. The New York Stock Exchange will not be open for regular trading, either.
Mail and postal services
Some postal services pause operations on Monday to observe Juneteenth, but not all. The U.S. Postal Service is closed Monday, so mail sent through the carrier will not be delivered before Tuesday at the earliest, but UPS will continue to operate as usual, despite acknowledging Juneteenth on its latest annual holiday calendar. FedEx will also continue services during regular hours on Monday.
Public, and many private, schools across the country are closed Monday for the holiday, with the U.S. Department of Education confirming in an announcement earlier this month that all federal offices, most Federal Student Aid processors and contact centers would be closed. Because around half of U.S. states still do not recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday, according to Pew Research Center, school and government office closures can vary locally. In New Jersey, which passed a law declaring Juneteenth a state holiday before the federal law passed in 2021, observes Juneteenth on the third Friday of June, rather than June 19 annually. Because of this, schools, state courts and other government offices are closed there on Friday instead of Monday.
Many employees within the private-sector are also given Monday off from work to observe Juneteenth. Private-owned restaurants and retail venues can decide whether to remain open or not, and, although large brands like Starbucks, Nike and Target announced in previous years their decisions to recognize Juneteenth as an official company holiday, for the most part, their individual stores continue to operate during regular business hours. Whether or not large retail and grocery stores, many of which also recognize the Juneteenth holiday, remain open for business Monday varies by company.
The electronics retailer BestBuy, for example, acknowledges Juneteenth as a company holiday, and offers some employees paid time off while keeping its stores open. Costco warehouses, which only close to observe seven national holidays annually, are also open on Juneteenth, according to the wholesaler’s website.
Target has recognized Juneteenth as a company holiday since 2020, saying in a statement that employees can decide to “observe the day however they prefer, through education, service or celebration,” but its stores do not close in observance. The grocery chain Trader Joe’s, which has indicated it will close stores early on July 4 to allow staff to prepare for celebrations, are operating on a normal schedule Monday as well. Walmart stores are open until 11 p.m.
The outdoor gear company REI is open on Juneteenth, according to its website, although Patagonia’s U.S.-based stores are closed, the retailer said in an Instagram post.