Juneteenth is set to become recognized as an official holiday per Governor Tom Wolf.

Today (Wednesday, June 19th) marks 154 years since the first Juneteenth, which was a celebration commemorating the abolishment of slavery back in 1865.  PhillyMag.com reported that the legislation establishing this day as a state holiday was passed by the state Senate in May and is on track to be signed within the next few days by Pennsylvania Governor, Tom Wolf.

According to Philly Mag, this legislation follows in the footsteps of 40 other states that have declared Juneteenth as a state holiday, beginning with Texas in 1979.

Ron Brown, a member of the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation,  tells PhillyMag, “For African Americans, Juneteenth historically is on the same level as Independence Day ...it’s our July 4th.”

People from all over turn out for what has become the Philadelphia Juneteenth Parade and Festival. Although the bill does not require employers to recognize Juneteenth as a holiday earning paid time off, the parade is held every year in Center City to celebrate and recognize the significant day in African-American history.

Soon the Juneteenth will go beyond Center City and be recognized as a state-wide holiday!