On June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger announced in Galveston, Texas, the end of slavery in accordance with President Abraham Lincoln's 1863 Emancipation Proclamation.
The bill would lead to Juneteenth becoming the 12th federal holiday. Last year, Johnson and others tried to negotiate swapping Juneteenth for Columbus Day so there would not be another federal holiday added.
Juneteenth marks when enslaved people in Texas learned they had been freed under the Emancipation Proclamation. That was also about two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation freeing slaves in the Southern states.
"Mayor Elorza and the City's Human Resources Department are pleased to announce that, in observance of the newly-recognized Juneteenth holiday on June 19, 2021, City of Providence employees will be granted a paid day off, and regular City operations will be closed on Friday, June 18, 2021".
"While it still seems odd 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.
The Senate passed the bill under a unanimous consent agreement that expedites the process for considering legislation. "I just think it's kind of odd that now apparently the only way to do that is to give 2 million federal workers a paid day off, cost American taxpayers $600 million".
"While it still seems unusual that having taxpayers provide federal employees paid time off is not required to celebrate the end of slavery, it is clear that there is no appetite in Congress to further discuss the matter", he added. "Therefore, I do not intend to object", Johnson said in a statement before Tuesday's vote.
The bill was only able to pass after Sen. He tweeted Monday: "We have a long road towards racial justice in the United States and we can not get there without acknowledging our nation's original sin of slavery". "Many Black Americans feel as though this is the first time in a long time that they have been heard in a way across the culture". It has been a state holiday in Texas for 40 years, and at this time another 46 states and the District of Columbia celebrate it in some way on the state level.
The Senate voted unanimously on Tuesday to pass legislation that would make Juneteenth a national holiday.
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