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Congress approves bill to make Juneteenth a federal holiday

Congress, capitol building
Posted at 7:37 PM, Jun 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-16 19:55:28-04

WASHINGTON (AP/WXMI) — The United States will soon have a new federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the nation.

The House passed a bill Wednesday that would make Juneteenth, or June 19th, a federal holiday.

The House voted 415-14 to make Juneteenth the 12th federal holiday.

Juneteenth commemorates when the last enslaved African Americans learned they were free. Confederate soldiers surrendered in April 1865, but word didn’t reach the last enslaved Black people until June 19, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to Galveston, Texas.

The bill now goes to President Joe Biden's desk for his signature.

Congressman Bill Huizenga (MI-02) voted in favor of the bill, according to Huizenga's office.

“Officially recognizing Juneteenth as a federal holiday helps commemorate the historical significance of the end of slavery,” says Huizenga. “Making Juneteenth a federal holiday is absolutely the right thing to do and I proudly cast this vote.”