© 2024 KLCC

136 W 8th Ave
Eugene OR 97401

Contact Us

FCC Applications
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Juneteenth One Step Closer To Becoming State Holiday In Oregon

Oregon Legislature

Oregon lawmakers advanced a bill Tuesday that would make Juneteenth an official state holiday.


Juneteenth is observed on June 19 each year, and marks the date that a Union general rode into Galveston, Texas and announced that enslaved people were to be set free. It’s often considered the date on which the news that slavery was abolished made it to the furthest reaches of the Confederacy.


Sen. Lew Frederick, D-Portland, said his family has passed along memories of when the news came to their part of the south.

“Family stories say joy was the first emotion. Next, skepticism," he said. "Active and often deadly reactions followed against freed African-Americans by whites fearful that they might be treated the way they had treated their former slaves.” 

House Bill 2168has already been approved in the House, but has to return there for a vote on changes made to the bill in the Senate. If the Hosue concurs with those changes, the measure would head to the governor’s desk. If signed into law, it would take effect with the Juneteenth holiday in 2022.


Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December 2018 and became News Director in March 2023. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
Related Content