The holiday originated in Galveston, Texas; for more than a century, the state of Texas was the primary home of Juneteenth celebrations. However, one small community in Arkansas (Wilmar) boasts that its celebration, called "June Dinner" has been consistently observed and celebrated, except for one year, since approximately 1870. Since 1980, Juneteenth has been an official state holiday in Texas. It is considered a "partial staffing holiday" meaning that state offices do not close but some employees will be using a floating holiday to take the day off.Twelve other states list it as an official holiday, including Arkansas, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Alaska. In California, Governor Schwarzenegger proclaimed June 19 "Juneteenth" on June 19, 2005, however, some of these states, such as Connecticut, do not consider it a legal holiday and do not close government offices in observance of the occasion. Its informal observance has spread to some other states, with a few celebrations even taking place in other countries.
As of May 2009, 31 states and the District of Columbia have recognized Juneteenth as either a state holiday or state holiday observance; these include Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming.
And here's a photo of yours truly (fear on the internet) reppin it last year. My cousins in New York looked at me crazy about 10 years ago when I told them about Juneteenth, but you guys were free well before my kinfolk, LOL.