(AP) — The Senate has passed a bill that would make Juneteenth, or June 19th, a federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery. The bill would lead to Juneteenth becoming the 12th federal holiday and is expected to easily pass the House.
Juneteenth commemorates when the last enslaved African Americans learned they were free. Union soldiers brought them the news two years after the Emancipation Proclamation.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York says making Juneteenth a federal holiday is a “major step forward to recognize the wrongs of the past.” The vast majority of states already recognize Juneteenth as a holiday or observance.