Jun 17, 2021 55 secs

The US will officially recognize Juneteenth, which commemorates the end of slavery in America, as a federal holiday after Joe Biden signed a bill into law on Thursday.

“Great nations don’t ignore their most painful moments,” Biden said, before he established what will be known as Juneteenth National Independence Day.

We are footsteps away from where President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.

“And we are here to witness President Joe Biden establish Juneteenth as a national holiday.

Juneteenth commemorates the day in 1865 when news of the Emancipation Proclamation reached the people of Galveston, Texas, freeing slaves in the last rebel state.

Abraham Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, but the proclamation wasn’t enforced in Galveston until federal soldiers read it out on 19 June 1865.

“I’m happy as pink,” said Doug Matthew, 70, a former city manager of Galveston who has helped coordinate the community’s Juneteenth celebrations since Texas made it a holiday.

He said his family traced its roots back to enslaved men and women in the Texas city who were among the last to receive word of the Emancipation Proclamation

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