PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Over 150 years after the last enslaved Americans were freed in the United States, the day commemorating the emancipation will officially be recognized in South Dakota.
Governor Kristi Noem signed HB 1025 into law Thursday, which recognizes June 19, otherwise known as Juneteenth, as a state holiday.
For the past two years, the governor has marked Juneteenth with an official proclamation, giving state employees the day off. In 2021, Senator Reynold Nesiba introduced a bill to mark the day as an official state holiday but the bill failed in the legislature.
South Dakota is the last state in the nation to recognize the day as a holiday or day of observance.