Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. It was on June 19, 1865, that soldiers landed in Galveston, Texas with the news that the Civil war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. This was two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.
On Wednesday, June 16th, the U.S. House passed the bill to make Juneteenth a federal holiday, after the U.S. Senate passed it the day before. Signing it into law on Thursday, Biden made Juneteenth – observed this year on Friday, June 18 — a federal holiday.