In the News: Senate Passes a Bill Making Juneteenth a Federal Holiday

By

Janet Kaplan

on

July 13, 2021

"And that’s why we must understand that Juneteenth represents not only the commemoration of the end of slavery in America more than 150 years ago, but the ongoing work to have to bring true equity and racial justice into American society, which we can do. In short, this day doesn’t just celebrate the past; it calls for action today."

— Remarks by President Biden at Signing of the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, June 17, 2021

The Senate unanimously passed a resolution establishing June 19 as Juneteenth National Independence Day, a U.S. holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. On June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger announced in Galveston, Texas, the end of slavery in accordance with President Abraham Lincoln's 1863 Emancipation Proclamation. In 1980, Juneteenth became a Texas state holiday. In the decades since, every state but South Dakota came to officially commemorate Juneteenth, but only a handful of states observe it as a paid holiday.

Learn more:

Senate unanimously passes a bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday, CNN, June 16, 2021

Remarks by President Biden at Signing of the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, June 17, 2021

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