LA CROSSE, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – The U.S has a new federal holiday after it was signed into law by President Biden Thursday afternoon.
Despite some initial objections, on Wednesday, a bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday passed the house 415 to 14, one day after the Senate approved it.
It commemorates June 19, 1865, when enslaved people in Texas learned they were free.
The news made it to Texas more than two years after President Lincoln’s emancipation proclamation.
“It is not only a day of pride, it is also a day for us to reaffirm and rededicate to action,” said Kamala Harris.
“Great nations don’t ignore their most painful moments. They embrace them,” said President Biden.
The vote comes nearly a year after Americans nationwide hit the streets to protest racial injustice.
Juneteenth is the first federal holiday signed into law since m-l-k day was created in 1983.
An area health system here in western Wisconsin is recognizing Juneteenth as well.
This Friday and Saturday Mayo Clinic Health System is lighting cancer and surgery center in La Crosse red, black and green for ‘Juneteenth Education through Celebration in La Crosse’.
On Saturday a booth will offer free blood pressure checks, games, and COVID-19 vaccinations.