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Most feds off Friday as Biden makes Juneteenth a federal holiday

President Joe Biden signed the National Independence Day Act this afternoon, defining June 19 as a federal holiday.

Most federal employees will be honored tomorrow, June 18, as June 19 falls on a Saturday this year, the Office of Personnel Management said.

Eleven is celebrated when enslaved people in Texas learn of their freedom, more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Proclamation of Liberation. The news finally reached the port city of Galveston when Union troops arrived on June 19, 1865. The news was greeted with celebration and began the annual celebration.

The bill passed the Senate on Tuesday with a unanimous agreement, and the House followed on Wednesday with 415-14 votes. Almost every state now recognizes the 11th as a holiday, but now it is the first federal holiday created since the creation of Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 1983.

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