McSTREAMY NEWS – The United States Congress has moved to establish a new national federal holiday for the first time in 40 years. Juneteenth (the 19th of June) has been recognized by the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives in time for Saturday, June 19, 2021’s 156th anniversary of a traditional celebration held in some isolated locations around the country, but not as a federal holiday.

The day marks the day in 1865 that slaves in Texas were first notified that they had been freed by the Emancipation Proclamation years earlier and in the wake of the United States Civil War. As a result of the 2021 action in the U.S. Congress Juneteenth has officially been recognized as a country-wide holiday deserving of not only a celebration but also of holiday pay for federal workers.

Juneteenth becomes the 12th federal holiday, and the first new one since civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. Day was established in 1983, raising King to a national and world-wide civil rights hero after his untimely assassination.

The Senate bill was sponsored by Sen. Edward Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts, and had 60 co-sponsors. After okayed unanimously by the Senate, Democratic leaders moved quickly to bring the bill to the House floor where it was approved 415 to 14 and sent to President Joe Biden for his signature.

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