Juneteenth is now an official state holiday in Illinois. Under a new state law, the holiday will be celebrated on June 19th every year, marking the day in 1865 when the last slaves were finally freed in Galveston, Texas.

"Freedom Day" is a vital part of history that should be remembered each year, says Senator Kimberly Lightford of Maywood.

Click here for Lightford's comments

Governor JB Pritzker (pictured) signed the bill on Wednesday. The new law takes effect next year, and Juneteenth will be a paid holiday for state workers and a school holiday whenever June 19th falls on a weekday.

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