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Juneteenth becomes a federal holiday

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

The Human Rights Commission is pleased that the U.S. Congress passed and President Biden signed a bill establishing Juneteenth, the date commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, as a federal holiday.  “Great nations don’t ignore their most painful moments.  They embrace them,” stated the President at the bill signing event. 

Juneteenth National Independence Day will become the 12th legal federal public holiday.  Juneteenth is on June 19 and celebrates the emancipation of the last enslaved African Americans. On that day in 1865, Union soldiers led by Gen. Gordon Granger arrived in the coastal city of Galveston, Texas, to deliver the order officially ending slavery in the state.

The Human Rights Commission hopes that Washington businesses will take this opportunity to engage their employees in diversity, equity and racial justice activities and to educate their workforce on the importance and meaning of Juneteenth. 


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