INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Senator Todd Young has joined with other U.S. senators to support introducing a bill to make Juneteenth a federal holiday.
“The designation of Juneteenth as a federal holiday is long overdue. The Juneteenth National Independence Day Act is an important step in recognizing how far we have come, and how far we still must go in the fight for equality,” said Young.
Juneteenth, also known as Emancipation Day, commemorates the official end of U.S. slavery. The name is a combination of the date, June 19, when a Union general told the last remaining enslaved African Americans in Galveston, Texas, in 1865 of President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation issued two years before.
The push for governments to officially recognize Juneteenth has gained momentum since protests against racial injustice began nationwide after the police custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Juneteenth is celebrated by 47 states, including Indiana, and the District of Columbia.
Young has been an original co-sponsor on resolutions honoring Juneteenth each year since 2017. This year’s resolution passed the Senate last week.