Sixteen holidays are now under US law, marking the end of slavery | Black Life Essential Issues
President Joe Biden signed a six-day federal commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States as the country continues to make changes in racism.
“Today we are dedicating sixteen of what it should be, as it should be – a national holiday,” said Biden, who returned Wednesday from his first trip as president to Europe.
“This is the most important moment in American history. By making the Sixteenth state holiday, all Americans can feel the power of modernity and learn from our history and celebrate our progress,” Biden said.
Biden, with the help of Vice President Kamala Harris, signed the document at the White House on Thursday, making the June 19 announcement public. Nineteen, national holiday.
“Today is a day of celebration,” said Harris, vice president of the first black president. “It is not only a day of pride, but a day of renewal and commitment to take action.”
The nineteenth anniversary commemorates when the last American slaves felt liberated after the US Civil War between Confederate slave states in the south and the Union free nations in the north.
Confederate troops surrendered in April 1865, but the word did not reach the last black people who were enslaved until June 19, when Union troops brought freedom to Galveston, Texas.
Two and a half years earlier, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Declaration of Emancipation, liberating American slaves in 1863.
United States historian Michael Beschloss praised the signing of the bill in a tweet.
Sixteenth would have been a public holiday long ago.
– Michael Beschloss (@BeschlossDC) June 17, 2021
He is the first to create a national holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was established in 1983 to recognize the assassinated human rights leader.
At the ceremony, Biden knelt on one knee and hugged Opal Lee, a 94-year-old Texan who has been campaigning all his life to make the seventh holiday a holiday.
“You have received a special honor from the president of the United States,” Harris laughed at the joke among dignitaries who gathered at the White House to sign the document.
Known as “Independence Day” in the US, Friday is a popular holiday for African Americans and celebrates the black community of Texas and the rest of the US with a prayer dinner, development events, family meetings, and barbecues.
The bill passed a unanimous vote in parliament last week and passed Wednesday’s vote in 415 to 14 votes.
Next step: Presidential desk. # Seventh pic.twitter.com/cKYL72sQeL
– James E. Clyburn (@WhipClyburn) June 17, 2021
Seventeenth has been a major factor in the new U.S. statistics and history of racism and protests that have become commonplace following the death of George Floyd last year, a black man murdered by a white police officer.
Many US states have realized that the 16th is a holiday or they are celebrating the day. Sixth has been paid vacation for government employees in Texas, New York, Virginia and Washington, DC.
Under a new law signed by Biden, the national holiday will be known as the Sixth Independence Day, which recognizes the right of Africans to freedom from slavery.