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Juneteenth to Become Federal Holiday

Credit: Unsplash

June 19th, also known as Juneteenth, has been an unofficial holiday in the United States, signifying the day when the last slaves in Texas were emancipated by Union soldiers after the Confederacy’s defeat in the US Civil War. This significant day, symbolizing the official end of slavery in the United States, is now set to be established as a federal holiday.

Yesterday, Congress approved a new bill with a vote of 415-14 to make Juneteenth the 12th federal holiday, renaming it Juneteenth National Independence Day. This decision marks Juneteenth as the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was enacted into law by former President Ronald Reagan in 1983.

“Our federal holidays are intentionally limited and commemorate the most crucial milestones,” mentioned New York Democratic Representative Carolyn Maloney. “There is no more pivotal milestone to acknowledge than the abolition of slavery in the United States.”

Michigan Democratic Representative Brenda Lawrence expressed, “We must educate each generation of Americans, both Black and white, about the resilience and success of a people who have thrived in the United States despite enduring slavery.”

Following the bill’s approval, it will be sent to President Joe Biden’s desk for his anticipated signature, which is planned to occur two days before Juneteenth. The signing ceremony is scheduled for today at 3:30 PM Eastern Time in the East Room of the White House, where both President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will address the significance of the new holiday.

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