ICYMI: REPS. VEASEY, JACKSON LEE, LEE URGE CONGRESS TO PASS BILL MAKING JUNETEENTH A FEDERAL HOLIDAY

Sep 23, 2020
Press Release

ASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Reps. Marc Veasey (TX-33), Shelia Jackson Lee (TX-18), and Barbara Lee (CA-13) along with local Fort Worth civil rights activist, Opal Lee, held a press conference urging Congress to pass the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act (H.R. 7232)—legislation that was introduced earlier this year.

"It is far past time for Congress to pass legislation that would designate Juneteenth--a day that commemorates the oldest known celebration of slavery’s demise--as a national holiday,” said Congressman Marc Veasey (TX-33). “I was proud to join Reps. Jackson Lee (TX-18), Lee (CA-13) and Fort Worth civil rights legend, Opal Lee, today because we must pass the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act." 

June 19, 1865, was the day when slaves in Galveston, Texas, learned the Civil War was over and they were free. The news came more than two years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. The annual celebration on June 19 later became known as Juneteenth, which is now celebrated all over the U.S. The bill – H.R. 7232, or the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act – would designate Juneteenth as a federal holiday and is co-sponsored by more than 80 other members of Congress, including Rep. Veasey.  

A video of the press conference can be found here.