Advertisement

House approves bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday

Demonstrators take part in a Juneteenth rally near the Lincoln Memorial on June 19 in Washington, D.C. The House is expected to vote Wednesday on legislation making Juneteenth a federal holiday. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
Demonstrators take part in a Juneteenth rally near the Lincoln Memorial on June 19 in Washington, D.C. The House is expected to vote Wednesday on legislation making Juneteenth a federal holiday. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

June 16 (UPI) -- The House voted Wednesday to make Juneteenth -- which celebrates the end of slavery in the United States -- a federal holiday.

The lower chamber voted 415-14 in favor of the legislation one day after the Senate unanimously passed it. All those who voted against the bill were Republicans.

Advertisement

President Joe Biden was expected to sign it into law.

The bill was introduced in the Senate by Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and in the House by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas.

"I thank the Senate for passing S. 475, the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, the companion to H.R. 1320, my bill to make [June 19] a federal holiday," Lee tweeted Wednesday. "I am at work with leaders to have the House pass the bill and and send it to [President Joe Biden] by Juneteenth."

Freedom from slavery was announced in Galveston, Texas, the most remote area of the country where slavery was still practiced, on June 19, 1865. Thereafter, the date came to be celebrated annually as Juneteenth, Freedom Day, Jubilee Day and Liberation Day, particularly in Texas.

Advertisement

If it passes in the House, it would become the 11th federal holiday and give all federal employees a paid day off. It won't require private companies to give employees the day off.

Latest Headlines