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Biden Signs Bill Making Juneteenth a Federal Holiday Commemorating End of Slavery

HeadlineJun 18, 2021

President Biden has signed legislation creating a new federal holiday for Juneteenth to mark the end of slavery in the United States. The celebration marks June 19, the day in 1865 that enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, learned of the Emancipation Proclamation — signed by Abraham Lincoln more than two years prior — and that the Civil War had ended. A White House signing ceremony Thursday was kicked off by Kamala Harris, the first African American vice president.

Vice President Kamala Harris: “We are gathered here in a house built by enslaved people. We are footsteps away from where President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. And we are here to witness President Joe Biden establish Juneteenth as a national holiday.”

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