On Thursday, President Joe Biden signed legislation making Juneteenth a federal holiday.
Juneteenth is on the 19th, but because that is a Saturday, all federal and Missouri state offices will be closed Friday in observance of the new holiday.
Juneteenth is the anniversary of the date on which slaves in Galveston, Texas, in 1865 received news of the Emancipation Proclamation ending slavery, two years after President Abraham Lincoln first issued the proclamation. It’s celebrated as marking the end of slavery in the U.S.
The last time a federal holiday was established was Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 1983.
The Missouri Office of Administration announced in a news release Thursday that all state offices would be closed Friday. That includes the Department of Conservation (though its shooting ranges will remain open), the Department of Social Services and the Department of Health and Senior Services offices.
Local DMVs will also be closed, since they are run by the state.
Because of the short notice, the U.S. Postal Service will continue normal operations Friday and Saturday, according to a statement on its website. Spokesman Mark Inglett confirmed in an email that local offices will remain open.
Information on Kansas offices was not immediately available. One county, Riley, where Manhattan is located, said in a Facebook post that it apologized for the late notice, but its offices would be closed Friday, according to WIBW in Topeka.
Juneteenth celebrations in Kansas City will begin with the “All Black Everything Party” at 6 p.m. Friday at Union Station. Events will continue that evening and throughout the weekend.