Becoming a federal holiday
In 1996, the first federal legislation to recognize "Juneteenth Independence Day" was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, H.J. Res. 195, sponsored by Barbara-Rose Collins (D-MI). In 1997, Congress recognized the day through Senate Joint Resolution 11 and House Joint Resolution 56. In 2013, the U.S. Senate passed Senate Resolution 175, acknowledging Lula Briggs Galloway (late president of the National Association of Juneteenth Lineage), who "successfully worked to bring national recognition to Juneteenth Independence Day", and the continued leadership of the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation.
In the 2000s and 2010s, activists continued a long process to push Congress towards official recognition of Juneteenth. Organizations such as the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation sought a Congressional designation of Juneteenth as a national day of observance. In 2016, Opal Lee, often referred to as the "grandmother of Juneteenth", walked from Fort Worth, Texas to Washington D.C. to advocate for a federal holiday. When it was officially made a federal holiday on June 17, 2021, it became one of five date-specific federal holidays along with New Year's Day (January 1), Independence Day (July 4), Veterans Day (November 11), and Christmas Day (December 25). Juneteenth will coincide with Father's Day in 2022, 2033, 2039, 2044, and 2050. Juneteenth is the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was declared a holiday in 1986. Juneteenth also falls within the statutory Honor America Days period, which lasts for 21 days from Flag Day (June 14) to Independence Day (July 4).
Copyright © 2013 - 2023 Carl Hitchens - All Rights Reserved.
Contents of this site including text and media may not be reproduced without prior written consent,
with the exception of brief quotations embodied in postings, critical articles and reviews.
Audio and video elements of this site are property of their respective owners and are used with permission.