Juneteenth to Become A Federal Holiday

Juneteenth Signing

Our nation has a new federal holiday. Juneteenth, celebrated on June 19th, marks the day Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865, two months after the Confederacy had surrendered. 

The Senate passed the bill under a unanimous consent agreement that expedites the process for considering legislation. On Thursday, the bill was signed by President Biden and will now become the first federal holiday declared since Martin Luther King Day was established in 1983. 

As stated in this AP article, the vast majority of states recognize Juneteenth as a holiday or have an official observance of the day, and most states hold celebrations. Juneteenth is a paid holiday for state employees in Texas, New York, Virginia and Washington. Under the legislation, the federal holiday would be known as Juneteenth National Independence Day.

June 22, 2021 - 2:16pm
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