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The push for a national Juneteenth holiday — page 1 
A bipartisan Senate bill urges federal status for June 19th.
There is a growing movement to declare June 19th as a federal holiday. This day has come to be known as Juneteenth. Some people have always known about “Juneteenth,” having grown up in or near Black culture. Others are just learning about it now. But if a new bill becomes a federal law, all Americans will observe this day, which celebrates the end of slavery in the U.S.

A bipartisan coalition of senators has introduced a bill to honor Juneteenth as a federal holiday. A “bipartisan coalition” means a group consisting of both Democrats and Republicans. This would be the first new national holiday in 47 years. In 1983, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, observed on the third Monday of January, was the last federal that was added. One of the sponsors of this bill, Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, issued a press release saying, in part, “Our nation still has a long way to go to reckon with and overcome the dark legacy of slavery and the violence and injustice that has persisted after its end.”

The push for a national Juneteenth holiday is nothing new. Opal Lee, a resident of Fort Worth, Texas, has been advocating for this celebration for decades. Lee is 93 years old. She remembers attending large Juneteenth celebrations as a child in Texas. Unfortunately, she also remembers June 19th, 1937, when a mob of 500 white people burned down her family’s house in Fort Worth.

The woman known as “Miss Opal” has long wanted Juneteenth to become national in scope. In 2016, at the age of 89, she marched 1,300 miles from Fort Worth to Washington, D.C., to spread the word about Juneteenth. Last year, she did it again! Ms. Lee has said: “This is what I dram for Juneteenth—that all kinds of people will come together, that we will celebrate freedom from the 19th of June to the 4th of July.”
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