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Juneteenth National Holiday
News Bytes 06/17/2021 26 Comments

“If the cruelties of slavery could not stop us, the opposition we now face will surely fail. Because the goal of America is freedom, abused and scorned tho’ we may be, our destiny is tied up with America’s destiny.” — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The U.S. Senate passed a bill on Tuesday. New legislation would make Juneteenth, or June 19th, a federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. The Juneteenth bill should easily pass the House and head to President Joe Biden for his signature.

Juneteenth commemorates when the last enslaved African Americans learned they were free. Confederate soldiers surrendered in April 1865. But word didn’t reach everyone—including some enslaved black people—until June 19 of that year. On that day, Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to Galveston, Texas—about two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves in the Southern states.

“Making Juneteenth a federal holiday is a major step forward to recognize the wrongs of the past,” says Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. “But we must continue to work to ensure equal justice and fulfill the promise of the Emancipation Proclamation and our Constitution.”

The Senate passed the bill under an agreement called “unanimous consent.” Unanimous consent streamlines the process for considering legislation. But if even one senator objects, an agreement is blocked.

Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin had objected in the previous Congress to a bill to celebrate Juneteenth as a federal holiday. He cited the cost of such a bill and the lack of debate over it. Johnson says he has previously supported resolutions recognizing the significance of Juneteenth. But he questioned why the new holiday must give federal employees yet another day off—at a cost of about $600 million per year.

“While it still seems strange that having taxpayers provide federal employees paid time off is now required to celebrate the end of slavery, it is clear that there is no appetite in Congress to further discuss the matter,” Johnson said in a statement before Tuesday’s vote. “Therefore, I do not intend to object.”

Senator Edward Markey of Massachusetts is sponsoring the Juneteenth bill. It had 60 co-sponsors. Markey tweeted Monday: “We have a long road towards racial justice in the United States, and we cannot get there without acknowledging our nation’s original sin of slavery. It is long past time to make Juneteenth a federal holiday.”

Markey’s wording—calling something an “original sin” on the Senate floor—is thought-provoking. Surely, there have been many sins before and after slavery in the United States, and original sin goes back to individuals in the Garden of Eden. Still, it is interesting that in the United States at least, people recognize that certain national actions violate God’s laws.

Under the proposed legislation, the new federal holiday would be known as “Juneteenth National Independence Day.”

The vast majority of states already recognize Juneteenth as a holiday or have an official observance of the day. Juneteenth is a paid holiday for state employees in Texas, New York, Virginia, and Washington. Most states will celebrate on Saturday—with renewed vigor since next year could mark the first official commemoration.

(A signed copy of the Emancipation Proclamation will be displayed at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield, Illinois, to commemorate Juneteenth. The original is kept in the National Archives in Washington, D.C. Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum photo via AP)

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Most recent comments

Man, I should just work for

Man, I should just work for the government! You get paid really well AND get a bunch of paid days off! Though I think it's good they made it a holiday, should these people be getting so many days off? I mean, what if a crisis happens and nobody is there to do something cause it's Columbus Day or something? (And Columbus day is a really dumb holiday I think, I mean, why should everyone get a day off to celebrate a guy that didn't even know where he was and killed and enslaved thousands of people? No thank you!

1st comment

This great another day off I hope they sign it before June 19 so we can have another holiday this year XD


YES!!!!!!!!!! Finally! @Carys, yeah, I feel uncomfortable about Columbus day...

Both my grandmas were born on

Both my grandmas were born on Juneteenth-the same year, too! (Same year as each other, not as the first Juneteenth)


I agree about Columbus Day. We don't celebrate it at our house, because Columbus didn't even discover America!! Plus he just wasn't a good dude. We celebrate Leif Erikson day (same day as Columbus Day *wink*) and Leif Erikson didn't enslave and kill thousands of people and he didn't borrow a bunch of money that he never paid back and he didn't lie to get what he wanted (I don't think. He was a Christian. But so was Columbus...) So yeah, GO LEIF ERIKSON!
About the article. Cool, fine, whatever, Juneteenth: Federal Holiday, Whoopee. BUT. The part where Markey talks about "original sin" and "racial justice" is talking about the Critical Race Theory, which is trash. Sorry for my violence, but if CRT is actually true, then Christianity is impossible. EVERYONE HERE should read Faultlines by Voddie Baucham. He is a great pastor and missionary in Africa, who wrote a whole book on Social Justice and the Critical Race Theory. It shows exactly how CRT affects Christians and everyone else, really. It's a great eye-opener and a good book for teens as it prepares them for things that they will encounter in adult life. If you are probably 14 or older, you should read this. It does talk about some violence and abortion and really sad things. But it's so worth the read!!
If you don't know what Critical Race Theory is, have some fear, because like the Bible says, the first person to state his case sounds right until someone gets up and contradicts him (roughly quoting), and you can't contradict CRT. (Unless you're Baucham, who did a good job in that book)
It's like this: All white people are racist because their skin is white. They could be married to a black person, or have black children, but they are still racist, because they were born white. Unless, of course, they identify as LGBTQ+++++++++, in which case they are not AS racist. All black people, on the other hand, are oppressed. They could be the leader of a wealthy company, or the president of the US, but they are still oppressed. What about black people who think this is all nonsense? They're brainwashed. America is racist for a similar reason that whites are racist. They had slaves when they came. Ever since slaves first stepped foot in America, America has been "inherently' racist. So, now. You see why we can't contradict effectively? If we're white and we contradict it, we're racist and shouldn't be listened to anyway. If we're black and we contradict it, we're brainwashed. So it's a lose-lose situation. If you disagree with CRT, you lose because everyone hates you for disagreeing. If you agree with CRT, you lose because you think everyone is out to get you (black) or you think that you are a terrible person because you have less melanin. (white) I could go on, but I think I got the basics. Also, I didn't present this exactly the way a CRT person would. They would have less sarcasm and more sincerity and pretty much the same message.
Ah. Rambling, rambling, rambling on. I apologize for my diarrhea of the mouth. I'm pretty sure it's contagious. XP
Happy Apple Strudel Day.

My sister wants a national

My sister wants a national cupcake, unicorn and pink (where everyone wears pink :-\ ) day.

@ Kiara

:) That could be fun!


Um. Ok. I am fine with them doing this to celebrate the slaves independence, but they are going to far in other things with racism and all that dumb stuff. I am white and am not racist. We just had a black family stay with us for three days, and the mom was one of my moms best friends growing up.... so we aren't racist. All of this is just stupid (sorry, but no other word sounds right) nonsense. Stupidity.
@Addie: Are you sure he was a Christian? He was a Viking... but he was a pretty cool dude. Yeah Columbus found south/central America, and was pretty cruel. Erikson found Canada and Newfoundland. They called it that because if you string out that word it says "New - found - land" because that is what it was! XD And Greenland he also found I think.

Yada yada yada, big whoop, no

Yada yada yada, big whoop, no real need for that, but whatever, make the people happy, maybe if I work for the government I'll get another day off, ok, cool, bla bla, moving on. Seriously?? What-ever. I think this is just another attempt by the liberals to draw attention to America's history of slavery, and make it seem worse than it was.

@Addie L

Seriously, don't even get me started on the LEGITBBQ, I mean, LGBTQ... *smirks and winks*

this is mylee

@Evryone I've been to Galveston lot's of times bc some family lives close its so much fun!! it dosn't really bother me making this a Federal holiday I mean lot's of ppl celebrate it. My brothers birthday is on the 19th. Fact: Colombous day isn't a holiday in Tx. We don't take off for it XD. Hespurus Haha Legit BBQ.... Though really :(

this is mylee

sry spelled your name wrong.*Facepalm*


@Kiara- I want a National PB&J Day (where everyone has to at least try some form of peanut butter and jelly {almond butter works too and you can do any kind of jelly})
@Riley- Yeah, CRT is not logical at all. One of my best friends when I was little was black. When I started homeschool, we lost touch, but still! And I have several family members that are black! Yes, Leif Erikson was a Christian. He was actually one of the ones to encourage Christianity in Greenland and Iceland. Most Vikings of his time where believers in Norse mythology. The older people were very suspicious of Leif when he first became a Christian, but eventually, Christianity was the most common religion of his people, and the Norse myths were recognized as myths.
@Hesperus- I completely agree about both of those things! XD
@Mylee- We don't take off for it either. We've only actually done something for the day once, and that just happened to be a playdate on the same day. We realized it was Columbus (LEIF ERIKSON) Day, and we read the Leif Erikson book and tried to balance an egg on one end.


@Hesperus, I don't want to start an argument but, slavery WAS bad. We can't pretend it wasn't. Whippings. Starting work at four. Working all day sometimes through the night without choosing too. Not being paid. Being SOLD at any time away from your family. And sometimes the masters of the house had kids with some of the lady slaves and the ladies had no choice. That is just some of it. Sure some of the masters were good (ish) , but they still OWNED PEOPLE.
Juneteenth is celebrating when some slaves in Texas finally heard (2 YEARS later) that they were free.
Ok, I won't get you started on that.
But please, don't start an argument! We can calmly list our points without arguing about it.

@Caroline N

Of COURSE it was bad!! Def! But, the libbies are all busy trying to do anything they can to make it seem like America is so terrible. I'd have to read the article I saw again, but if I remember correctly, slavery actually was going out in America. So, yes, that's sad and all that, but, on the other had, learn from the past, and let it go already! (But, yes, I understand what you mean.)

@ Twins S

Lol, yer good. It's not an average name, I'll admit that...

This is fairly surprising.

I'm surprised that the democrats supported a holiday to celebrate the day that Republicans finished the job of freeing their slaves XD
But really I think that they could have chosen a better day for an end of slavery celebration. Either the day of the emancipation proclamation or the day when the thirteenth amendment was ratified.

@Asher E

Yeah, the nineteenth is kind of not as important.

P.S. This is Piper

Yeesh. What a bunch of nincompoops. The government thinks their sole purpose on this earth - aside from stealing our money, freedom, and independent thought of course - is to pass bill after bill and law after law etc. etc. until the price of paper goes sky-high and the Capitol explodes in a flutter of mandates. Why do we pay them again? Oh wait. I forgot. So we don't get dragged off to jail.
Not so fun fact: We have ten times as many laws as our grandparents had. Guess how many of those laws are important. I don't know, exactly, but I have my guess. Laws don't solve peoples' problems. In fact, it makes them worse. Passing a bill making YET ANOTHER national holiday isn't going to solve racism (or what they CALL racism), sexism (or what they CALL sexism), or religionism (I'm sure it's out there). SHOULDN'T THEIR TIME BE SPENT ELSEWHERE??? LIKE EARNING AN HONEST LIVING INSTEAD OF SITTING UP THERE AND TELLING US NOT TO EAT ORANGES IN A BATHTUB IN CALIFORNIA????? (something like that)
The legislators create stupid laws, the judges interpret stupid laws, the police enforce stupid laws, and we the people of the United States, in order to form an enslaved nation, LET THEM.
Sorry for the rant. I wasn't talking to anyone specifically, I just needed to blow off some steam.

@Addie L

I getchu. We got some real stupid morons in the White House and other places. People like that make me mad, so I know how ya feel. Speaking of all the "racism" garbage, my brother told me he saw a baby book in the library that was entitled something like "anit-racist baby". Fer real? That's about the biggest piece of crap I ever hear in my life! Just leave the kids and the BABIES alone, libbies! It's just getting ridiculous. And, while I'm thinking of it... The whole gay thing is everywhere too. Duolingo, Lego, Call of Duty Mobile, the Boy Scouts, on and on it goes. So, yeah, I get yer frustration. Especially since there's a lot of frustrating people. Hmmm. Sounds like it's time for me to come up with some new stuff. *winks* I'll see what I can do...


I have heard about the Anti-Racist Baby. People actually expect others to read that to their children! And yes, LEGITBBQ is being shoved in our faces. I'm just like, If y'all want to be gross, that's not my problem, do what you want, but DON'T MAKE ME LOOK AT IT FOR PETE'S SAKE!!!! Sad story: My favorite TV show in 2018-19, Voltron, ended with one of the main character's "wedding". Can you imagine my family's pain and agony? No, probably not, because it wasn't pain and agony, it was fury. By the way, we canceled our subscription to Netflix. (Also, it's fine if you didn't notice, but I just wanted to clarify that my last comment was my sister, not me. :) I pretty much agree with her on everything, but I have different ways of expressing my opinion than her. Not that her ways are bad....................... ANYWAY.)
Hope everybody has a great JUNETEENTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! XP

It is infuriating. The thing

It is infuriating. The thing that gets me the most though is the hypocrisy of it all. They are supporting Planned Parenthood, the title is...*slams fist on bed,* which kills BABIES! innocent lives and canceling out anyone who disagrees with them. I'm probably saying stuff you probably know, but this is what makes the the most mad. But yet, I have to pity them. What will it be like to be before God and to account for their entire lives? I pray that God will change them though His will be done.

@Addie L

IKR I loved Voltron!!!
I can't believe at the last second they made the black paladin gay ... it doesn't make sense!!!
when I read that I started crying because someone besides me and my sister noticed and were upset about it. IDK why I did, it just made me emotional...
We deleted our Netflix account because of the gay stuff and the show Cuties
In Idaho, our governor assembled an education task force to combat CRT and teaching kindergarteners about sexuality (not in the normal way either).


Just so you know. my sister and I are playing Destiny 2 now. Our username is dasheva. I don't remember if it is capitalized but that's how you spell it.

@Addie L

loved Voltron and me and Chey would binge-watch every single time a new season came out. I remember when we watched the last episode and they made Shiro gay, I cried so hard and my mom was furious.


same abt colombus day colombus wiped out a whole native american tribe! and then called native americans INDIANS!

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