When did Juneteenth become a federal holiday?
“Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, is a holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, to announce that the Civil War had ended, and all enslaved people were to be freed. This announcement came more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation had become official. The news sparked celebrations across Texas and later became an annual tradition in African American communities throughout the country.
In recent years, there has been a growing push to recognize Juneteenth as a national holiday. On June 17, 2021, President Joe Biden signed into law the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, making Juneteenth a federal holiday. The legislation passed overwhelmingly in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, with strong bipartisan support. The federal recognition of Juneteenth is seen as a significant milestone in the ongoing struggle for racial justice and equality in the United States, as it acknowledges the historical significance of the end of slavery and the ongoing struggle for civil rights.”