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Twas the Teenth of June
Author: BobR    Date: 06/19/2024 13:17:02

Today is a federal holiday, and - like a lot of people - I am off work today. "Juneteenth" wasn't an "official" federal holiday until June 17, 2021. Before that, there were of course celebrations, but finally recognizing it was a pretty big deal.

From the Wiki:
Juneteenth, officially Juneteenth National Independence Day, is a federal holiday in the United States. It is celebrated annually on June 19 to commemorate the ending of slavery in the United States. The holiday's name is a portmanteau of the words "June" and "nineteenth", as it was on June 19, 1865, when Major General Gordon Granger ordered the final enforcement of the Emancipation Proclamation in Texas at the end of the American Civil War.[8][9] Although this date commemorates enslaved people learning of their freedom under the Emancipation Proclamation, this only applied to former Confederate states. There remained legally enslaved people in states that never seceded from the Union. These people did not gain their freedom until the ratification of the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution on December 6, 1865.


In 1996, the first federal legislation to recognize "Juneteenth Independence Day" was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, H.J. Res. 195, sponsored by Barbara-Rose Collins (D-MI). In 1997, Congress recognized the day through Senate Joint Resolution 11 and House Joint Resolution 56. In 2013, the U.S. Senate passed Senate Resolution 175, acknowledging Lula Briggs Galloway (late president of the National Association of Juneteenth Lineage), who "successfully worked to bring national recognition to Juneteenth Independence Day", and the continued leadership of the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation.

In the 2000s and 2010s, activists continued a long process to push Congress towards official recognition of Juneteenth. Organizations such as the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation sought a Congressional designation of Juneteenth as a national day of observance. By 2016, 45 states were recognizing the occasion. Activist Opal Lee, often referred to as the "grandmother of Juneteenth", campaigned for decades to make Juneteenth a federal holiday, leading walks in many states to promote the idea. In 2016–17 at the age of 89, she led a symbolic walk from Fort Worth, Texas to Washington D.C. to advocate for the federal holiday. When it was officially made a federal holiday on June 17, 2021, she was standing beside President Joe Biden as he signed the bill.

Today will be only the 4th time this country is celebrating freedom (officially).

"... with liberty and justice for all..."

4 comments (Latest Comment: 06/19/2024 18:37:22 by TriSec)
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