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House Signs Bill Recognizing Juneteenth as a Federal Holiday

“This step is important, obviously, to the Congressional Black Caucus, but this is an important step for America as we ensure that one of the most momentous events in our history finally takes its official place of honor in our nation. Again, over the past 156 years, Juneteenth, as Juneteenth is — has evolved as a day not only of celebration, but of reflection, reminding us of a history much stained by brutality and injustice.” “Juneteenth came about because of a lack of communication. Congress passed the Emancipation Act in 1862 to free the slaves here in the District of Columbia. Abraham Lincoln sat down and wrote the Emancipation Proclamation to be effective Jan. 1, 1863. But because of a lack of communication, it was not until June 19, 1865, that the word got to Texas. If we learn, as I said yesterday, the art and value of communication, we will save a whole lot of hardship for the American people.”

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