In what is being hailed as a historical minute, President Joe Biden signed a costs into law stating June 19 as a federal vacation to mark completion of slavery in the United States. “I hope this is the beginning of a change in the way we deal with one another,” Biden stated after signing the historical expense.
The expense cleared by Congress had actually been all authorized by theSenate The just opposition it got was from 14 House Republicans– numerous representing states that became part of the slave-holding Confederacy in the 19th century.
The President stressed the requirement for the United States to overtake its history and stated, “Great nations don’t ignore their most painful moments. Great nations don’t walk away. We come to terms with the mistakes we made. And remembering those moments, we begin to heal and grow stronger.”
President Joe Biden indications the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, in the East Room of theWhite House (Photo: Getty
What is Juneteenth?
The holiday will mark the day when Major General Gordon Granger reached Galveston in Texas and issued General Order No. 3 that announced: “All slaves are free.” The day was June 19, 1865, two months after the end of the Civil War and two years after the declaration of the Emancipation Proclamation that had freed slaves in the Southern part of the country.
The order delivered by General Gordon read, “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labour.”
The rare copy of the Emancipation Proclamation signed by Lincoln and then-Secretary of State William Seward. (Photo: AP
The people in Glavaston began celebrating Juneteenth from next year, which has continued for decades and generations. The newly assigned holiday will now get the same status as the ten other federal holidays in the US including Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Derived from the month of June and the date 19th, it has also been called Juneteenth Independence Day or Freedom Day. The day has already been recognised by several states before the White House declared it a federal holiday.
The move is being seen as an attempt by the federal government to reach back to the black community, which had been alienated during the presidency of Donald Trump. The proposal was blocked in the then Republican-controlled Senate during his presidency with Republican senator Ron Johnson arguing that it would mean the taxpayers would have to foot millions of dollars in bills for paid leave to federal government employees.
The bill was sponsored by Democratic Senator Edward Markey and had 60 co-sponsors. Bipartisan support emerged as lawmakers struggle to overcome divisions that are still simmering following the police killing last year of George Floyd in Minnesota.
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“We are gathered here in a house built by enslaved people. 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. We have come far, and we have far to go, but today is a day of celebration,” Harris, whose cabinet has numerous crucial positions being held by