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Juneteenth to Become Federal Holiday

Credit: Unsplash

June 19th, known as Juneteenth, is an unofficial holiday in the United States commemorating the emancipation of the final slaves in Texas after the defeat of the Confederacy in the US Civil War. This significant day, signifying the official end of slavery in the country, is now becoming a federal holiday.

Congress recently passed a bill by a vote of 415-14 to establish Juneteenth National Independence Day as the 12th federal holiday. This makes Juneteenth the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was signed into law by former President Ronald Reagan in 1983.

“Our federal holidays are intentionally few in number and mark the most crucial milestones,” stated New York Democratic Representative Carolyn Maloney. “I can’t think of a more important milestone to commemorate than the end of slavery in the United States.”

“We have a duty to educate every generation of Americans, both Black and white, on the resilience and triumph of a people who thrived in the United States despite the hardships of slavery,” said Michigan Democratic Representative Brenda Lawrence.

Following the bill’s approval, it is expected to be signed into law by President Joe Biden, who has already expressed his intention to do so. The signing ceremony is scheduled for today at 3:30 PM Eastern time in the East Room of the White House, with both President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris delivering remarks about the new holiday.

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