Thank Congress for recognizing Juneteenth as a federal holiday

Published on June 18, 2021 in

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Thank Congress for recognizing Juneteenth as a federal holiday and encourage further action.

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This month, Congress passed bipartisan legislation officially recognizing Juneteenth as a federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. The bill received bipartisan support and was signed into law by President Joe Biden on June 17. 

Making Juneteenth a federal holiday creates an opportunity for all Americans to learn about the lasting impacts of slavery and subsequent racist laws, policies and actions that continue to impact the lives of Black Americans today. Join us in thanking legislators for taking this important step toward truly recognizing our full,  shared national history and encourage them to follow up with meaningful policy action which works to address the glaring racial inequity which persists across our country. 

Some facts about Juneteenth: 

  • Juneteenth is the oldest nationally recognized commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States. It is recognized each year on June 19. 
  • On June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger announced in Galveston, Texas, the end of slavery in accordance with President Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Emancipation Proclamation. 
  • In 1980, Juneteenth became a Texas state holiday. Currently, every state except South Dakota commemorates Juneteenth, but only a handful of states observe it as a paid holiday. 
  • June 19, 2021, marks the 156th anniversary of the end of slavery in the U.S. 
  • The legislation makes Juneteenth National Independence Day the 12th legal public holiday. It is the first new federal holiday created by Congress since 1983, when lawmakers voted to establish Martin Luther King Jr. Day after a 15-year fight to commemorate the assassinated civil rights leader. 

Click here to see Juneteenth events in Metro Detroit.

Thank your legislators and President Biden for recognizing Juneteenth in this important way and encourage them to follow this up with meaningful policy action!