18 June 2021 - Biden signs bill making Juneteenth a national holiday
Biden signs bill into law making Juneteenth a national holiday
Kate Sullivan and Maegan Vazquez (CNN, 17/06/2021)
President Joe Biden said that signing legislation into law on Thursday establishing June 19 as Juneteenth National Independence Day -- a US federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States -- will go down as "one of the greatest honors" of his presidency.
"I have to say to you, I've only been president for several months, but I think this will go down, for me, as one of the greatest honors I will have as president," Biden said at the White House during a signing ceremony.
"I regret that my grandchildren aren't here, because this is a really, really, really important moment in our history. By making Juneteenth a federal holiday, all Americans can feel the power of this day and learn from our history -- and celebrate progress and grapple with the distance we've come (and) the distance we have to travel," Biden said.
Slavery Didn't End On Juneteenth. Here's What You Should Know About This Important Day
Sharon Pruitt-Young (NPR, 17/06/2021)
It goes by many names. Whether you call it Emancipation Day, Freedom Day or the country's second Independence Day, Juneteenth is one of the most important anniversaries in our nation's history.
On June 19, 1865, Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger, who had fought for the Union, led a force of soldiers to Galveston, Texas, to deliver a very important message: the war was finally over, the Union had won, and it now had the manpower to enforce the end of slavery. The announcement came two months after the effective conclusion of the Civil War, and even longer since Abraham Lincoln had first signed the Emancipation Proclamation, but many enslaved black people in Texas still weren't free, even after that day.
That was 156 years ago. Here are the basics of Juneteenth that everyone should know.
Juneteenth becomes federal holiday celebrating end of slavery in US
Guardian staff and agencies (The Guardian, 18/06/2021)
The US will officially recognize Juneteenth, which commemorates the end of slavery in America, as a federal holiday after Joe Biden signed a bill into law on Thursday.
At a jubilant White House ceremony, the president emphasized the need for the US to reckon with its history, even when that history is shameful.
“Great nations don’t ignore their most painful moments,” Biden said, before he established what will be known as Juneteenth National Independence Day. “Great nations don’t walk away. We come to terms with the mistakes we made. And remembering those moments, we begin to heal and grow stronger.”
I don’t know how I feel about Juneteenth becoming a federal holiday
Michael Arceneaux (The Independent, 17/06/2021)
Juneteenth is becoming a national state holiday — and as a Black Texan, I’m still not quite sure how I feel about it.
Last June, Senate Democrats, joined by Republicans such as Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, proposed the federal holiday as one of the responses to nationwide protests spurred by the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. House Democrats also won the support of several Republicans for a similar bill offered by Houston area Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee. However, a month later, Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin blocked the bipartisan effort, arguing a new holiday would “give federal workers a paid day off that the rest of America has to pay for.” He complained about labor costs over a day marking slavery’s end with no sense of irony.