Friday is Juneteenth, a brand-new federal holiday. What’s open, closed in Boise area

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President Biden on Thursday signed into law a bill establishing Juneteenth, June 19, as a federal holiday. Most federal government offices will be closed Friday as workers receive a surprise, short-notice day off. Most Idaho state offices will close, too.

But many Idaho city offices will remain open. And you’ll still get your mail.

Gov. Brad Little issued a proclamation Thursday recognizing Juneteenth as a new legal public holiday observed by Idaho Code. State executive branch entities will observe the holiday on Friday, a news release from the governor’s office said.

Courts, cities and state entities normally do not conduct business on federal holidays. When the holiday falls on a weekend, they observe the holiday the day before. But for this Friday, Boise, Meridian and the Idaho Supreme Court said there was not enough notice given to allow them to close.

The U.S. Postal Service said it was not possible to cease operations on 24 to 48 hours’ notice, so mail will be delivered Friday and Saturday, USA Today reported.

Idaho courts will do business as usual.

“Because of the short notice, Idaho’s courts have already prepared dockets, people have been scheduled and summoned to courthouses, and there has been insufficient time to prepare for a non-judicial day,” an order from the Idaho Supreme Court said.

The cities of Boise, Meridian and Nampa announced in separate news releases they will recognize the new holiday, but their facilities will remain open this Juneteenth.

“It is important that we recognize Juneteenth and its significance to the African-American community and on the lives of all Americans,” Meridian Mayor Robert Simison said. “As a city, we look forward to honoring and incorporating this holiday into the city’s future operations.”

Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the United States.

On June 19, 1865, Union Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Texas to inform enslaved African-Americans that they were free and the Civil War was over. His announcement came two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

“By formally recognizing Juneteenth as a federal holiday, we are able to reflect on our nation’s past and continue the work toward equality and racial justice,” Boise Mayor Lauren McLean said.

Have information on governments, businesses or other institutions open or closed this Friday, June 18? Please email to let us know.

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Business Editor David Staats contributed.

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