Laurel mayor discusses push to make Juneteenth a federal holiday

Pine Belt

LAUREL, Miss. (WHLT) – Juneteenth is one step closer to becoming a federal holiday in the United States after a measure supporting it unanimously passed the U.S. Senate Tuesday.

“I think it’s good that history is being spread to people that have never heard of this before, because the more we know about each other, the more we understand, the more we can get along and more we can progress as humanity,” said Johnny Magee, mayor of Laurel.

Several states over the last several years have adopted Juneteenth, the day that commemorates the abolishment of slavery, as a statewide holiday. It is celebrated on June 19 to represent the day enslaved Black people in Texas were freed by federal troops.

Mayor Magee said the holiday means a lot to many communities.

“If it becomes a national holiday, it is something that I believe would be beneficial to the entire United States, and I think it’s a good day for the country, because we are recognizing our past and beginning to deal with our past.”

The measure next needs to pass the House of Representatives before it would head to President Joe Biden’s desk.

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