South Dakota Is One of Only Four States to Not Celebrate Juneteenth
It's the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States, but it is not officially recognized in South Dakota.
The Mount Rushmore State is one of only four states in America to not acknowledge Juneteenth, along with North Dakota, Hawaii, and Montana.
The event commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union Major General Gordon Granger rode into Galveston, Texas, and told slaves of their emancipation from slavery two months after the end of the Civil War.
In 1980, Texas became the first state to pass legislation designating June 19 as a state holiday. Since then 45 other states have followed suit, including Pennsylvania, which officially recognized Juneteenth today (June 19, 2019).
Despite official recognition in South Dakota, Rapid City's Journey Museum does commemorate Juneteenth with an exhibit 'It's About Time! the African American Experience in the Black Hills', showcasing quilts on the Underground Railroad and telling stories of the pioneers' former slaves who inhabited Dakota Territory.