The day marks how Union soldiers informed the last group of enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas, of their freedom,
2˝ years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1865. - Illustrative photo -
Published Friday, June 18, 2021
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff and wire services
President Joe Biden signed into law Thursday the creation of a new federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. Juneteenth National Independence Day will be observed each year on June 19.
The day marks how Union soldiers informed the last group of enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas, of their freedom, 2˝ years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1865.
"By making Juneteenth a federal holiday, all Americans can feel the power of this day and learn from our history, and celebrate progress, and grapple with the distance we've come, and the distance we have to travel," Biden said.
During his remarks Thursday, Biden honored Opal Lee, 94, an activist often referred to as the "Grandmother of Juneteenth," who received a standing ovation, according to a report by Voice of America Journal, VOA, which is the U.S. government news agency funded by the U.S. Congress.
Lee has been pushing for national recognition of Juneteenth for over 40 years, most recently in 2016 launching "Opal's Walk 2 DC" in hopes of gaining congressional support for naming the date a federal holiday.
Many states already celebrate Juneteenth. This is the eleventh federal holiday for the U.S. And it is the latest holiday added since 1983 after Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
The legislation to create the holiday arrives at Biden’s desk after receiving approval through unanimous consent in the Senate on Tuesday and passing the House of Representatives in a 415-14 vote on Wednesday.
In Costa Rica, due to Juneteenth National Independence Day, the Embassy and Consular Section will be closed today. The offices will reopen on Monday, June 21, with the normal hours of 8:00 a.m. at 4:30 p.m.
How do you celebrate Juneteenth in Costa Rica? We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to email@example.com
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