Thursday 17th June 2021
Consent to “Juneteenth”
US holiday commemorates the end of slavery
On June 19, 1865, a Union Forces general in Texas proclaimed the freedom of all slaves. In the US, the day is known as “Juneteenth”, but now, with rare political unity, it becomes a national holiday to commemorate the end of slavery.
For the first time since 1983, the United States got a new national holiday. The US Congress voted to introduce a new anniversary to commemorate the end of slavery. The House of Representatives voted for the relevant law with an overwhelming majority of 415 against 14 votes. The Senate – the other Congress Chamber – had already unanimously approved the project.
The introduction of the new holiday was decided jointly by the Democrats and opposition Republicans with a rare bipartisan unity. In order for the holiday known as “Juneteenth” to be introduced, all that is missing is the signature of President Joe Biden. Juneteenth would be the twelfth holiday under US federal law and the first new holiday of its kind in 38 years.
In most of the 50 US states, the “Juneteenth” – June 19 – is already officially celebrated. But June 19 is not yet a federal holiday.
“Juneteenth” is a box word of the English words for June and 19. On June 19, 1865 – two months after the surrender of the southern troops fighting for slavery in the Civil War – a general of the Army of the North had in Galveston, state Texas announces the release of all slaves.
The debate about the crimes of slavery has become more explosive since last year in the wake of the protests against police violence and racism. During numerous demonstrations, monuments linked to the legacy of slavery were attacked several times. Several cities in the US have already responded to protesters’ demands by removing flags and statues associated with the southern states. The US state of Maryland abolished its official anthem “Maryland, My Maryland” because the song was a “relic” of the Southern Confederation.