An executive order recognizing Juneteenth as a paid Metro holiday was approved on April 14 and signed by Mayor John Cooper, joined by Metro Council members and other community leaders at a ceremony at Fort Negley.
“For the first time in Metro’s history, Juneteenth will be an official Metro holiday to celebrate African American culture, and history and to commemorate the emancipation of enslaved people. I was proud to sign an Executive Order alongside our dedicated partners and Metro Council,” said Mayor Cooper.
On June 17, 2021, President Joe Biden signed a bill making Juneteenth the 11th American federal holiday and the first to obtain legal observance as a federal holiday since Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was designated in 1983.
In December, Cooper submitted legislation to begin the process of acknowledging Juneteenth National Independence Day, piggybacking on efforts by Metropolitan Council member-at-large Sharon Hurt and Councilmember Tanaka Vercher who led previous resolutions calling for Juneteenth to be recognized as a Metro holiday.
“I am delighted that Nashville has joined the ranks of other major cities in recognizing the significance of Juneteenth and celebrating emancipation by making Juneteenth a paid Metro holiday,” said Councilwoman Hurt at the time.