President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act on Friday, establishing the first national holiday voted in by Congress since 1983. (That was the year Martin Luther King Jr. Day was approved as a federal holiday.)
Juneteenth, which stands for June 19, marks the day in 1865 when U.S. Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger issued an order in Galveston, Texas, declaring emancipation from slavery in the United States. The Emancipation Proclamation — intended to end slavery in the Confederacy — was issued two-and-a-half years prior.
But that news came slowly much like the birth of this new national holiday.
This is the third year organizers marked Juneteenth with an event in Lillington.