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June 19, 2021

Happy Juneteenth! You might think that was yesterday because President Biden signed a bill on Thursday declaring it a national holiday and federal workers took off work on Friday. But it’s actually commemorating June 19, 1865. That’s the date when Union Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, to inform them that the Civil War was over and to free the last slaves, two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. Texas was so far away from Washington that Lincoln’s order had yet to be enforced and slaves hadn’t been told about it.

Some of the bill’s critics argued that a holiday celebrating the end of slavery should have been on the date of the Proclamation, as Juneteenth is very specific to Texas, where it’s long been a holiday. You can read more about the history of Juneteenth at this link.

Naturally, after signing the bill, which had heavy bipartisan support, Biden immediately pivoted to a partisan attack on Republicans (who, it should be noted, actually freed the slaves held by Democrats), again accusing them of trying to suppress the black vote with election reform laws like voter ID, which is favored by a majority of black voters. It’s not often that you see a man of his age leap so nimbly, from pandering to blacks to insulting their intelligence.

Blogger Larry Correia had a very appropriate quote about the new holiday, given Biden’s exploitation of it to misrepresent GOP election integrity efforts: “I love Juneteenth being a national holiday, because it’s when we celebrate Republicans informing a bunch of black people that Democrats have been lying to and using them.”

At this link, J. Christian Adams has more on Juneteenth’s history and how only federal workers got Friday off for it.

This is added to 10 other federal worker holidays, plus Christmas Eve and the day after Christmas, all the time they took off during the pandemic, and the month of August when Washington practically shuts down.

Adams notes that one of the few months without a day off for federal workers is April. He suggests April 19th, the date in 1775 when “brave patriots at Lexington and Concord got sick and tired of a distant, far-off ruling class and decided to fight back.” That’s certainly worthy of a holiday, but he doubts the people in Washington today would want to remind Americans of it.

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