MISSOURI - All state offices will be closed Friday, June 18 in observance of Juneteenth, according to an email sent to state employees. 

Boone County government offices will also close Friday, according to an email sent shortly after 5 p.m. Thursday from the County Commission. 

All University of Missouri System schools will cancel classes and cease all university operations on Friday, according to an email from UM System President Mun Choi.

Despite the closure, MU Health Care will continue operations as normal, and university employees should check with their supervisor to identify if they are needed to "fulfill critical duties."

UM System classes cancelled Friday will be made up at a later date.

Last September, Columbia College also announced it would recognize Juneteenth as an official and paid holiday, according to previous KOMU 8 reporting.

President Joe Biden officially signed the bill Thursday, establishing June 19 as Juneteenth National Independence Day. 

Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. June 19, 1865 is when Union Major General Gordon Granger announced the end of slavery in Texas, in accordance with President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. 

Juneteenth has been recognized in Missouri as Emancipation Day since 2003. Only a handful of states currently observe June 19 as a paid holiday. 

It is the first federal holiday established since Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 1983. It also becomes at least the eleventh federal holiday recognized by the U.S. federal government. 

Mid-Missouri will have multiple events to celebrate this weekend. 

KOMU 8 Digital Producer & Reporter

KOMU 8 Digital Producer & Reporter. I'm a current senior at the University of Missouri, studying Convergence Journalism - Emerging Media. Reach me at awf3cq@umsystem.edu, or on Twitter @byalexfulton.

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