McCandlish Holton has announced an early closure of the firm on Friday June 18 in order to allow firm employees to observe the Juneteenth holiday following the designation of Juneteenth as a federal holiday. President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law after the passage of a bill by both the US Senate and the House of Representatives making it the 12th federal holiday. Juneteenth has also been known as Jubilee Day, Black Independence Day, and Emancipation Day.
Announced via email by Managing Director, Mark Rhoads, he shared the intention behind offering employees this time off: ‘‘...[We] encourage everyone to take time to learn some of the history of this date and why it is meaningful in US history — and meaningful to events we are living through today.’’ He further suggested finding events in the community that will commemorate Juneteenth.
Juneteenth Commemorates the End of Slavery
While President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation of 1862 officially outlawed slavery in states that had rebelled against the Union almost two and a half years earlier, ending the practice of chattel slavery was enforced at different times in different places with the final release of slaves occurring in 1866, and generally occurred with the advancement of the Union Army.
On June 19, 1865, announcement of General Order No. 3 by Union Army general Gordon Granger, proclaiming freedom for slaves in Texas. The order informed all Texans that, in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves were free:
‘‘The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.’’
Juneteenth (a contraction of June Nineteenth) has been celebrated for years in many parts of the United States, and is now officially recognized as a national holiday.
McCandlish Holton‘s History Advancing Equality and Civil Rights
The legacy of McCandlish Holton has always been to oppose racism in all of its forms:
- The firm’s namesake, Linwood Holton, is one of the most prominent civil rights governors in history. Gov. Holton supported an end to segregation in public schools and declared the end of Massive Resistance in Virginia.
- Our firm won the country’s largest housing discrimination case on behalf of African American homeowners subjected to discriminatory homeowner’s insurance practices, commonly known as ‘redlining.’
- This firm was an early supporter of Virginia’s Douglas Wilder in his historic run to become the country’s first elected African American Governor.
- Recently we have been counsel in federal lawsuits that struck down racial gerrymandering of voting districts in Virginia.
Local Events Commemorating Juneteenth 2021
Find local events commemorating Juneteenth by searching ‘‘Juneteenth events 2021’’ or ‘‘Juneteenth events near me’’ in an internet browser. James Madison’s Monpelier has a month-long virtual commemoration happening from June 1 -30.