Louisiana lawmakers make Juneteenth a legal state holiday

The third Saturday in June will be celebrated as Juneteenth Day in Louisiana

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Louisiana has recognized Juneteenth, the day commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, as a legal state holiday.

The third Saturday in June will be celebrated as Juneteenth Day under a bill passed without any nay votes and signed by Gov. John Bel Edwards.

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Juneteenth Emancipation Day Celebration, June 19, 1900, Texas (Mrs. Charles Stephenson/Wikimedia Commons)

The House voted 87-0 for the measure by Baton Rouge Democratic Rep. Larry Selders, while senators gave it final passage 37-0.

READ MORE: What is Juneteenth?

Juneteenth — which officially falls on June 19 — honors the day in 1865 when enslaved Blacks in Texas were freed with the arrival of federal troops. Though slavery was not completely abolished until the 13th Amendment, which came six months later, Juneteenth has come to symbolize the end of slavery.

Acknowledged annually on June 19, the former regional holiday provokes celebration in Black communities nationwide. Juneteenth, a portmanteau of the calendar date, is rooted in Texas and commemorates the ending of slavery. The homegrown holiday’s Southern beginnings have evolved into a day of recognition for freedom and legacy in African American communities.

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