Senate Recognizes Juneteenth Independence Day

"Free At Last" by Ted Ellis, on display at the US Senate Building in Washington DC from June 15-19 2015.

“Free At Last” by Ted Ellis
On display at the US Senate Building in Washington DC from June 15-19 2015.

Yesterday, the United States Senate unanimously approved a resolution introduced by US Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA) recognizing June 19, 2015 as “Juneteenth Independence Day.”

Juneteenth Independence Day commemorates the June 19, 1865 announcement in Galveston, Texas of the emancipation of slaves across the nation.

Texas was the first state to establish June 19 as an official holiday, in 1980. Juneteenth is considered a partial staffing holiday — state offices do not close but employees are able to use a floating holiday to take the day off.

“Juneteenth holds a special place in the heart of many Texans and reminds us of our obligation to continue building a country that is freer, fairer and provides opportunity to every American,” Sen. Cornyn said.

This year artwork from Galveston’s Ted Ellis will be featured in the halls of the US Senate as a part of Washington, DC’s Juneteenth celebration.

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