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Congress votes to make Juneteenth a federal holiday

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Juneteenth is now recognized as a federal holiday. 

Regarded as the official end to slavery in the United States, Juneteenth celebrates the day that Union soldiers, led by General Gordon Granger, arrived in Galveston, Texas to deliver “General Order No.3” on June 19, 1865—two years after the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation. 

Mississippi is one of 48 states, along with Washington D.C., that already recognizes Juneteenth as a holiday, but it now becomes the 12th federal holiday following the passage of a bill by Congress. The measure passed unanimously in the Senate and was sent to President Biden’s desk with a 415-14 vote in the House. 

President Biden will sign the bill later this afternoon. Because the holiday falls on a Saturday this year, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management clarified that federal employees will oversee the holiday tomorrow, June 18th. 

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