The Burlington County Board of Commissioners announced that all County offices will be closed Friday, June 18, in recognition of Juneteenth and the President of the United States marking it as a federal holiday.
Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. It marks the day Union soldiers landed in Galveston, Texas with news that the American Civil War had ended and that all enslaved were now free.
“We’re proud of Burlington County’s history as one of the birthplaces of the anti-slavery movement, and we’re pleased to join with the federal government and other jurisdictions across the country in recognizing this important holiday,” said Commissioner Director Felicia Hopson. “Juneteenth not only reminds us how long it took before slavery finally ended in the United States but also that that the fight for equality is still unfinished and we have more to do to ensure all people are truly free.”
In addition to closing county offices, the Board of Commissioners has organized a day of service on Friday morning at the Dr. James Still Historic Office and Education Center in Medford. It marks the first time the County has organized a service project in honor of Juneteenth and the many contributions of Black Americans.
Dr. Still was born in 1812 in Shamong and was known as the “Black Doctor of the Pines” because of his successful medical practice featuring natural herbal remedies. He treated hundreds of patients, curing some, it was said that licensed doctors could not heal.
More than two dozen County employees are expected to volunteer to do yard work outside the Center and along the nature trails on the property.