By: Zachary Lopez (ZachNews):
Sources: United States House of Representatives and United States Senate (Information):
Washington, District of Columbia: The United States Congress has approved a bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday in the United States.
The United States House of Representatives voted 415-14 on Wednesday, June 16th, 2021 to make Juneteenth, or June 19th, as the 12th new federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the nation.
The United States Senate passed the bill a day earlier under a unanimous consent agreement that expedites the process for considering legislation, and took just one senator’s objection to block such agreements.
This is the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was created in 1983.
The bill now goes to United States President Joe Biden’s desk to be signed into law.
The new federal holiday commemorates when the last enslaved African Americans learned they were free.
In April 1865, Confederate soldiers surrendered, but word didn’t reach the last enslaved Black people until June 19, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to Galveston, Texas.
That was also about two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation freeing slaves in the Southern states.
*** Learn more about the history of Juneteenth at the following website: ***
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.