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Senate Approves Bill To Make Juneteenth A Federal Holiday

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This updated handout photo provided by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum on Tuesday, June 8, 2021 shows a signed copy of Emancipation Proclamation. The Library, in Springfield, Ill., will mark Juneteenth, the holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, by displaying the rare signed copy of the Emancipation Proclamation. The copy of the proclamation that's signed by Lincoln and Secretary of State William Seward will be displayed between June 15 and July 6. The original document is kept in the National Archives in Washington, D.C. (Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum photo via AP)

(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.

 

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