June 19 or Juneteenth gets official endorsement from President Joe Biden. He has put his signature on the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act. It is now law. He also announced that the day would be a federal holiday. That way, he gave national recognition to a day that commemorated emancipation. During the signing ceremony at the White House, he said: "Juneteenth marks both a long, hard night of slavery and subjugation and the promise of a brighter morning to come."

Vice President Kamala Harris is the first female and Black vice president. She said: "These are days when we as a nation have decided to stop and take stock, and often to acknowledge our history." She urged people to acknowledge the realities of slavery and the long fight for freedom.

NBC News reports the House voted by a vast majority to assign the status of a federal holiday to Juneteenth. The Senate had already cleared the bill without debate. It becomes the 11th federal holiday. Earlier, there was Martin Luther King Jr. Day, created in 1983.

Juneteenth celebrates the end of slavery in the U.S.

On June 19, 1865, a high-ranking official arrived in Galveston, Texas. He was Union Gen. Gordon Granger, and he had brought the message that the Civil War had ended. That meant freedom for the enslaved African Americans. Incidentally, it was a delayed message. President Abraham Lincoln had already signed the Emancipation Proclamation more than two years earlier. The 13th Amendment was to abolish slavery in the United States formally.

Ratification of the 13th Amendment happened in December 1865. NBC News quotes Kamala Harris saying: "Think about that: For more than two years, the enslaved people of Texas were kept in servitude. For more than two years, they were intentionally kept from their freedom." Juneteenth is June 19, the day that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States.

Texas was the first to make Juneteenth a state holiday in 1980

Juneteenth is a state or ceremonial holiday in 47 states and the District of Columbia. Texas was the first to declare it a state holiday in 1980. Members of Congress, local elected officials, community leaders, and activists attended the signing ceremony at the White House.

Among them was a 94-year-old activist from Fort Worth, Texas. It was Opal Lee who had led the fight to make Juneteenth a nationwide federal holiday. Last year, the movement gained momentum after the murder of George Floyd, a Black Man, at the hands of the police in Minneapolis. The murder had the undertones of an incident of racism. It led to the Black Lives Matter BLM movement, spread to different corners of the United States, and even went beyond its boundaries. The action taken by Joe Biden to declare Juneteenth as a federal holiday will go a long way to assuage feelings among the communities.

Juneteenth gets due recognition

According to CNBC, Juneteenth is the date that ended slavery in the United States.

President Joe Biden signed a bill to establish June 19 as a federal holiday. While signing the bill, he described it as “one of the greatest honors” of his presidency. Addressing politicians, activists, and community leaders at the East Room, he said: “Great nations don’t ignore their most painful moments. They embrace them.” The legislation passed this week with overwhelming support in both chambers of Congress. Some GOP lawmakers railed against Democratic Party members for pushing the bill to a vote bypassing procedures. It seems committees should get an opportunity to examine the legislation and offer amendments. However, that did not pose any problem.