Juneteenth Day 2021: A bill to make Juneteenth a federal holiday clears the senate | World News

Photo: A 5,000-square-foot mural created by Reginald C Adams, at the spot where, in 1865, Gen Gordon Granger issued the orders that resulted in the freedom of more than 250,000 enslaved Black people in the US, in Galveston, Texas.

The Senate on Tuesday passed a bill to recognize Juneteenth, which commemorates the emancipation of slaves in the United States, as a federal holiday.
Many states have recognized Juneteenth for decades, but only some observe it as an official holiday. In the wake of protests against police brutality last year, dozens of companies moved to give employees the day off for Juneteenth, and the push for federal recognition of the day as a paid holiday gained new momentum.
The day, also known as Emancipation Day, recalls June 19, 1865, when Gordon Granger, a Union general, arrived in Galveston, Texas, to inform enslaved African Americans that the Civil War had ended and that they had been freed under the Emancipation Proclamation, which had been signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. The proclamation ended slavery only in states that had seceded; an end to slavery in the entire country did not occur until December 1865, when the 13th Amendment was adopted into the Constitution.
Texas was the first state to observe Juneteenth as an official holiday, starting in 1980.
The bill passed Tuesday heads to the House next. If it becomes law, it would be the 11th national holiday recognized annually by the federal government.

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