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Senate Passes Bill to Make Juneteenth a Federal Holiday

06/16/2021 12:00 AM EDT by WBLS Staff
After much deliberation looks like the U.S. Senate passed the bipartisan bill to make Juneteenth a federal holiday, US Sen. John Cornyn announced earlier today.Cornyn says: “The freedom of all Americans that Texas celebrates every Juneteenth should be celebrated all across the nation. The passage of this bill represents a big step in our nation’s journey toward equality. I thank my colleagues in the Senate for their support, and my fellow Texans who have been celebrating this important holiday for more than a century.”Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, the day slaves in Galveston, Texas learned, more than two years later that they had been freed by the Emancipation Proclamation. June 19th is unofficially marked as the day slavery truly ended in America.According to Rollcall.com:
The bill is now expected to move quickly through the House.Once enacted, federal government employees would get June 19, or a Monday or Friday near it, off every year. It would put pressure on the private sector and local governments to do the same — though some federal holidays, like Columbus Day and Veterans Day, regularly go unobserved by many employers. The last new federal holiday added to the calendar was Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 1983 after a 15-year push.