Today, President Joe Biden signed a bill into law that would declare Juneteenth a federal holiday. The recognition of the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States by the government will now carry the same status as other federally recognized dates such as Thanksgiving and Memorial Day. The vote was initially passed in the House 415-14 on Tuesday, June 15th.
Congressional leaders from both parties said that establishing the holiday was an important gesture in recognizing those who suffered under American slavery and as an act of racial reconciliation. Juneteenth would be the first federal holiday to be created by Congress since 1983, when lawmakers designated the third Monday in January as Martin Luther King Jr. Day, in honor of the slain civil-rights leader.
This law is to be effective immediately.