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*On this date in 2021, Juneteenth National Freedom Day became a federal holiday. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris signed into law a bill establishing Juneteenth National Independence Day, a celebration designating the end of slavery in the United States, as a federal holiday.
Biden said during remarks in the East Room of the White House: “By making Juneteenth a federal holiday, all Americans can feel the power of this day and learn from our history, and celebrate progress, and grapple with the distance we’ve come but the distance we have to travel to,” The last federal holiday was created in 1983 when former President Ronald Reagan established Martin Luther King Jr. Day. “Great nations don’t walk away,” Biden added. “We come to terms with the mistakes we’ve made.”
The law took effect immediately, and the national recognition will be celebrated on Friday, June 18, 2021, since it is the closest weekday.