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The Oregon State Senate has voted to declare Juneteenth a state holiday

Juneteenth, a day commemorating the Emancipation Proclamation, will be recognised as a state holiday in Oregon beginning in 2022, after lawmakers voted overwhelmingly Tuesday.

Juneteenth, a day commemorating the Emancipation Proclamation, will be recognised as a state holiday in Oregon beginning in 2022, after lawmakers voted overwhelmingly Tuesday.

On June 19, 1865, enslaved persons in Galveston, Texas, learned that President Abraham Lincoln had emancipated persons held in slavery in rebel states two years before. The bill’s passing, which was sponsored by Oregon Governor Kate Brown earlier this year, coincides with the 100th anniversary of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, in which a white mob attacked and killed hundreds of Black inhabitants of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

“House Bill 2168 allows us to learn from the past. We have the ability to alter the future in real time. Even without a declaration or an official festival, we may fight toward equality. We have to. Senator Lew Frederick, D-N/NE Portland, stated in a statement provided by Oregon Senate Democrats, “Celebrating Juneteenth will help everyone of us remember all that we can and must do to create a more just future.”
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Following the Senate’s passage of House Bill 2168 on Tuesday, the bill was sent back to the House for consideration of Senate modifications. It is anticipated to be signed into law by Governor Kate Brown.

“I realise this is a tiny but critical step. Brown said in a news release last year regarding the introduction of the bill to make Juneteenth a holiday, “I invite all Oregonians to join me in marking Juneteenth by being informed about structural racism in this country and getting involved in the battle for racial justice.”
Juneteenth is commemorated in other places as well.
According to a research published by the Congressional Research Service, Juneteenth began in Galveston, Texas, but it is now recognised, in some form, as a day of observance in every state except Hawaii, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

In 1980, the Texas state legislature was the first to declare Juneteenth a national holiday. In 1991, Florida came in second, followed by Oklahoma in 1994, and Minnesota in 1996. After several years, another state, Delaware, finally recognised the day in 2000.

Juneteenth was first honoured in Oregon in 2001, but it will become a legal holiday in the state next year.

Although each state commemorates Juneteenth in its own unique style, the occasion was observed across the country long before 1980.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s annual Juneteenth Day celebration, which is one of the country’s longest-running.

Juneteenth was first honoured in Oregon in 2001, but it will become a legal holiday in the state next year.

Although each state commemorates Juneteenth in its own unique style, the occasion was observed across the country long before 1980.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s annual Juneteenth Day celebration, which is one of the country’s longest-running.
For almost a decade, residents of East New York and Brownsville, New York have honoured Juneteenth with an annual celebration, while Juneteenth is commemorated in Philadelphia with an annual parade and festival.

The Associated Press and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel contributed to this report.

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