Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Congress Passes Bill Making Juneteenth a Federal Holiday

Juneteenth is the oldest nationally-recognized commemoration of the official end of slavery in the United States. (WYDaily/Wikimedia Commons)
The senate passed a bill establishing Juneteenth as a national holiday. (WYDaily/Wikimedia Commons)

NATIONWIDE — The Senate passed a bill establishing June 19 as a federal holiday to commemorate the end of slavery in the U.S.

The Senate unanimously passed the resolution on Tuesday, June 15. Following the Senate’s vote, the House of Representatives voted 415-14 to approve the bill. Now, it will make its way to President Biden’s desk to sign it into law.

June 19, or Juneteenth, marks the emancipation of enslaved Black Americans, celebrating the date when slaves in Galveston, Texas, the furthest west Confederate state, learned of their freedom in 1865. 

The holiday is celebrated annually on June 19, but has gained widespread recognition in the last few years. Now cities all over the country celebrate the day with parades, festivals and events.

If the bill becomes law, Juneteenth will be the 11th annual federal holiday in the U.S.

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