WASHINGTON, June 19 (UPI) --
A bipartisan resolution was introduced Tuesday in the U.S. Senate to make Juneteenth or June 19 a national holiday celebrating the end of slavery.
The resolution was introduced by Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchinson, R-Texas, and Carl Levin, D-Mich., and backed by John Cornyn, R-Texas, The Dallas Morning News reported.
On June 19, 1865, more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation and two months after the Confederate surrender, Major Gen. Gordon Granger is said to have read an order in Galveston announcing all slaves in Texas were now free.
Juneteenth, sometimes known as Emancipation Day, is observed in 41 states, including Texas.
The resolution calls on the federal and local and state governments to observe Juneteenth with appropriate ceremonies. It would not give federal employees the day off.
© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.