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Friday, July 30, 2021

'Enormous honor': Biden on making Juneteenth federal holiday

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'Enormous honor': Biden on making Juneteenth federal holiday
'Enormous honor': Biden on making Juneteenth federal holiday

U.S. President Joe Biden signed a bill into law on Thursday afternoon to make June 19 a federal holiday commemorating the end of the legal enslavement of Black Americans.

The bill, which was passed overwhelmingly by the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday after a unanimous vote in the Senate, marks the day in 1865 when a Union general informed a group of enslaved people in Texas that they had been made free two years earlier by President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation during the Civil War.

Biden and his fellow Democrats are under pressure to respond to a slew of Republican-backed state bills that civil rights activists say aim to suppress voting by minorities, and to meaningfully address the disproportionate killing of Black men by police.

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