House passes bill to make Juneteenth a federal holiday
Jun 17, 2021 54 secs

The House on Wednesday passed legislation that would make June 19, or Juneteenth, a federal holiday marking the end of slavery in the U.S.

The bill passed unanimously in the Senate on Tuesday and will now go to President Biden's desk for his signature, which would make Juneteenth the nation's 12th federal holiday.

For many Black Americans, especially those from Southern states, Juneteenth, also known as Emancipation Day or Freedom Day, has been an important day in history for over 150 years.

The news came more than two years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation granting freedom to all slaves in the Confederate states.

Still, some states recognize different dates of emancipation.

In Florida, advocates are pushing for the state to recognize May 20 as Emancipation Day, when the news reached enslaved African Americans in that state.

As of Wednesday, Juneteenth is recognized by 48 states and the District of Columbia as a state or ceremonial holiday.

Since 1980, Texas has been the only state to recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday.

South Dakota and Hawaii are the only states that don't currently recognize the holiday.

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