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Senate declared Juneteenth a federal holiday in the United States: what day is it

Juneteenth, which takes place annually on June 19, marks the real end of slavery in the United States. The U.S. Senate unanimously passed legislation declaring it a federal holiday, writes NBC News.

Photo: Shutterstock

On June 19, 1865, Union Army General Gordon Granger proclaimed freedom from slavery in Texas, almost two years after the proclamation of emancipation. The holiday was celebrated in 47 states and the District of Columbia, but now it will be recognized nationally.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer came forward with a proposal to pass the law, and none of the senators objected. Earlier Tuesday, June 15, Senator Ron Johnson, who blocked the bill last year, withdrew his objections.

“While it still seems odd that taxpayers should now give federal employees paid leave to celebrate the end of slavery, it is clear that Congress has no desire to continue debating the issue,” Johnson said in a press release. "So I'm not going to object."

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From the Senate, the bill is now going to the House of Representatives. If it passes, then after the signing of the document by Biden, June 19 will become the 11th federal holiday in the United States. Senator John Cornin and Rep. Sheila Jackson of Texas first proposed the bill last summer amid national protests against the assassination of George Floyd, but it hasn't received enough support.

Kornin tweeted his response to the bill: “I am glad that my bill to recognize June 19 as a national holiday has just been passed in the Senate. It has been a public holiday in Texas for over 40 years. Now more than ever, we need to learn from our history and continue to forge a better alliance. ”

What is the meaning and background of Juneteenth

This day gets its name from the combination of the word "June" (june) and the end of the number 19 (teenth). On June 19, 1865, Union troops led by General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston to break the news to the last remaining Confederate supporters that they had lost the Civil War and that all slaves were to be freed. The newly freed slaves celebrated freedom with “prayer, feast, song and dance,” and the following year, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica, the first official holiday, Juneteenth, appeared.

While President Abraham Lincoln abolished slavery in the Declaration of Emancipation of January 1, 1863, rebellious Confederate strongholds scattered throughout the South delayed widespread adoption of the declaration. Following Confederate General Robert Lee's reluctant surrender at Appomattox, Virginia, to Union General Ulysses S. Grant, Granger was finally able to reach Galveston to announce Lincoln's declaration and free the last remaining victims of slavery in the United States.

Why did the news go on for so long, and why did slavery in Galveston continue for more than two and a half years after Lincoln abolished it? Legend has it that an envoy on horseback with news of freedom was killed en route to Texas, while other historians blame Galveston's isolated nature as a barrier island on the eastern outskirts of Texas and their limited access to communications. But Professor Nolive Rooks, Ph.D., director of American studies and professor of African studies at Cornell University, said the delayed end to slavery was driven only by greed.

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“Quite frankly, the idea that people in this part of Texas were unaware of the end of the war is completely ridiculous,” Rooks said. “There were wired services, there were newspapers, and the big plantation owners were very rich, and the rich had access to information. They were cruel people. At that time it was the ruling class in the United States, the elite, many of them were rich, who could not be illiterate or backward. They were cruel and inhuman, but not ignorant. "

At the time, Galveston was publishing his Galveston Daily News, and on June 3, 1865, two and a half weeks before Granger's arrival, a message from New Orleans was published detailing the end of the war and the return of the Confederate prisoners. However, since then, according to Rooks, Juneteenth has been "passed on" through black communities, and in 2020, at the height of the modern civil rights movement following the death of George Floyd, interest in the holiday has renewed.

Learn more about when Juneteenth became a holiday in the United States and how many states and companies have recognized it. read in the material on ForumDaily.

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Miscellaneous In the U.S. slavery holidays in the USA Juneteenth
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