President Biden Signs Bill Making Juneteenth a Federal Holiday

Photo: Doug Mills-Pool / Getty

June 17, 2021 ~ Thursday, President Joe Biden signed into law a legislation that makes June 19 a federal holiday: Juneteenth National Independence Day.

The holiday commemorates the anniversary of June 19, 1965. On this day, the people of Galveston, Texas were the last people in the nation to be informed that the Civil War was over, and all enslaved people would be freed.

I have to say to you, I’ve only been President for several months, but I think this will go down, for me, as one of the greatest honors I will have as President,” said President Biden at the White House on Thursday.

June 18, 2021 ~ Deputy Mayor of Detroit Conrad Mallett talks with Kevin Dietz about Juneteenth.

Juneteenth is the first newly established federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 1983.

We can’t rest until the promise of equality is fulfilled for every one of us in every corner of this nation. That to me is the meaning of Juneteenth,” Biden said. “So let’s make this very Juneteenth tomorrow the first that our nation will celebrate all together, as one nation. A Juneteenth of action on many fronts.”

The President urged Americans to use the day as a day of reflection and action.

Great nations don’t ignore their most painful moments,” said Biden while standing alongside Vice President Harris. “They embrace them. Great nations don’t walk away. We’ve come to terms with the mistakes we made and in remembering those moments, we begin to heal and grow stronger.”