Biden signs Juneteenth Bill creating new federal holiday

Joe Biden, Kamala Harris

President Joe Biden speaks during an event to mark the passage of the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, in the East Room of the White House, Thursday, June 17, 2021, in Washington. Vice President Kamala Harris stands at left. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden signed a bill on Thursday establishing June 19 as Juneteenth as a federal holiday.

Juneteenth commemorates the emancipation of the last enslaved African Americans when, in 1865, Union soldiers led by Gen. Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, to deliver General Order #3, officially ending slavery.

This came months after Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s surrender and more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

The Juneteenth legislation passed unanimously in the Senate this week and by a 415-14 vote in the House.

Juneteenth National Independence Day now becomes the 12th legal public holiday.

Most federal government employees will observe the new holiday on Friday because June 19 falls on Saturday this year.

Categories: ConnectCenter1-Events, National News