After some lightning-fast legislation from Congress that saw a bill passed making Juneteenth into a federal holiday, President Joe Biden signed the law today, making it official. As noted in my previous column, Juneteenth has been an official state holiday in the majority of states. However, the fight to make it a federal holiday has been going on for some time.
Yahoo! News is reporting that and mentioned comments from the President:
“By making Juneteenth a federal holiday, all Americans can feel the power of this day and learn from our history, and celebrate progress, and grapple with the distance we’ve come but the distance we have to travel to,” Biden said during remarks Thursday in the East Room of the White House. The last federal holiday was created in 1983, when former President Ronald Reagan established Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
As noted by the site Nowthisisnews., Juneteenth:
recognizes the day in 1865 that Union General Gordon Granger informed enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas that they would be free under the Emancipation Proclamation, which had been signed by Abraham Lincoln more than two years prior. The day is also referred to as Emancipation Day, Jubilee Day, and Freedom Day.
Juneteenth National Independence Day is the holiday’s official name and it will be celebrated beginning immediately. According to the Yahoo! News report, Juneteenth “will be celebrated on Friday, June 18, since it is the closest weekday.”