On Thursday, June 17, 2021, the President signed into law: S. 475, the “Juneteenth National Independence Day Act,” which designates Juneteenth National Independence Day as a legal public holiday.
Great nations don’t ignore their most painful moments. They don’t ignore those moments of the past. They embrace them. Great nations don’t walk away. We come to terms with the mistakes we made. And in remembering those moments, we begin to heal and grow stronger.
President Biden at Signing of the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act
The word “Juneteenth” is a contraction, or portmanteau, of the month “June” and the date “Nineteenth.” On June 19, 1865, enslaved people of African descent located in Galveston, Texas, finally learned of their freedom from the slavery system in the United States.