President Biden, US Congress Legislate Juneteenth a Federal Holiday

Isaiah Williams

2020 Chicago Juneteenth Celebration

The US Congress passed a bipartisan legislation to make Juneteenth a government holiday. President Biden on June 17 signed the bill into law to cherish June Nineteenth as the public day to remember the end of subjugation in the United States. This was done only one day after the House approved the bill and the Senate acted with no debate, and cast votes that finalized at 415 to 14 (14 Republicans opposed the bill).

Juneteenth marks the day when government soldiers showed up in Galveston, Texas in 1865 to assume responsibility for the state and guarantee that all subjugated individuals be liberated. The soldiers’ appearance came two years after the marking of the Emancipation Proclamation. Juneteenth celebrates the end to servitude in the United States and is viewed as the longest running African American event.

The Emancipation Proclamation signed by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, had set up that all subjugated individuals in Confederate states be released and freed forever.   

1888 emancipation day celebration

In any case, the Emancipation Proclamation did not in a split second free any subjugated individuals. The declaration simply applied to places under Confederate control and not to slave-holding line states or radical regions effectively under Union control. Notwithstanding, as Northern soldiers progressed into the Confederate South, many subjugated individuals escaped behind Union boarders.

Subjugation had proceeded as the state of Texas encountered no enormous scope battling or critical presence of Union soldiers. Slave owners from the north mostly moved to the state of Texas because it was like a refuge for subjection.

After the conflict ended in the spring of 1865, June flagged opportunity for Texas’ 250,000 oppressed individuals. In spite of the fact that liberation didn’t occur without any forethought for everybody now and again, enslavers retained the data until after reap season festivities broke out among recently liberated Black individuals, and Juneteenth was conceived. That December, subjection in America was officially abrogated with the reception of the thirteenth Amendment.

Delaware State University campus   

Delaware State University alumnus, Dr. Tiffany Macrae, says that “President Biden’s approval to make Juneteenth a Federal Holiday means a lot to me because my great grandparents were slaves and I am from the south and ever since a little girl, my  family made it important to celebrate Juneteenth every year.”

Juneteenth will from now on be recognized federally, shedding light and attention that this historical date in history deserves. 

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