Make Juneteenth (June 19th) a Federal Holiday

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Jerome Coleman
Jerome Coleman signed this petition

"Juneteenth" also known as "Freedom Day," is an American holiday celebrated in commemoration of June 19, 1865. It is the oldest known US celebration of the end of slavery. On June 19,1865, the Emancipation Proclamation (issued on January 1, 1863) — was read to African-American slaves in Texas. Texas, because of its location geographically, was the last Confederate State to have the proclamation announced.

Freed slaves enthusiastically celebrated "Juneteeth" up until the early 20th century, when economic and political forces (Confederate states passed new constitutions or amendments that effectively disenfranchised black people) led to a decline in Juneteenth celebrations. Still, many African-Americans celebrate Juneteenth -- as "Emancipation Day" or "Freedom Day," with family reunions, cookouts, parties, etc., much like people celebrate the 4th of July.

Juneteenth is recognized as a state holiday or special day of observance in 46 of the 50 states. But it is not recognized as a national or federal holiday. The US Senate passed a resolution last year recognizing "Juneteenth Independence Day" as a national holiday, but it has not yet been approved in the US House of Representatives. It is time for us to push the House to make Juneteenth a national holiday!