Published: Thu, June 17, 2021

Senate passes bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday

Senate passes bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday

Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers landed in Galveston, Texas, and told the last enslaved people they were free two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation freed those under bondage. Johnson noted that he has supported resolutions recognizing the significance of Juneteenth, but he was concerned the new holiday would give federal employees another day off at a cost of about $600 million per year.

While Juneteenth has been celebrated by some Black Americans since the late 1800s, the holiday has gained in popularity in recent years.

Granger read to the crowd: "In accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free".

The bill is sponsored by Sen.

Johnson backed down this week, although he noted in a statement Tuesday that he still objects to the "cost and lack of debate".

"While it still seems unusual that having taxpayers provide federal employees paid time off is now required to celebrate the end of slavery, it is clear that there is no appetite in Congress to further discuss the matter", he said. In Texas, freedom finally came on June 19, 1865.

In a statement, Markey said the USA has "failed to acknowledge, address, and come to grips with our nation's original sin of slavery".


It is the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Federal troops arrived in Texas on the date to ensure that slaves were given their freedom.

Senator John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, welcomed the bill's passage on Tuesday in a tweet noting that Juneteenth was already a Texas state holiday.

The Senate passed the bill under a unanimous consent agreement that expedites the process for considering legislation.

After the death of George Floyd, which sparked racial injustice protests across the country, Jack Dorsey. It is not recognized in South Dakota. Edward Markey, D-Mass., and had 60 co-sponsors.

Although it is observed across the USA by all but four states: Hawaii, North Dakota, and South Dakota, is not recognised as a paid holiday.

"We certainly understand the need to move this legislation expeditiously and want to cooperate with you in every way in that regard", said Republican Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma. In 1980, Texas became the first state to make Juneteenth a holiday, and now the vast majority of states recognize the day.

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