ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Sens. Cramer, Klobuchar, Smith co-sponsor bill to make Juneteenth a federal holiday

Kevin Cramer speaks at a post-election press conference in Bismarck in 2018.
Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D. Tom Stromme / Bismarck Tribune
We are part of The Trust Project.

WASHINGTON — Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., and Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith, D-Minn., are among the bipartisan cosponsors of a bill to make Juneteenth a federal holiday.

The bill, which passed the Senate on June 16, was introduced by Sens. John Cornyn of Texas and Ed Markey of Massachusetts. The bill had 40 co-sponsors from 30 states.

Juneteenth, celebrated on June 19, commemorates Union Army Gen. Gordon Granger announcing federal orders that all slaves in Texas were free on June 19, 1865. Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation had outlawed slavery more than 2 1/2 years earlier, but there were few Union troops in Texas to enforce it.

"It’s past time we honor Juneteenth as a federal holiday so Americans across the nation can celebrate and recognize America’s long-fought path towards equality,” Cornyn said.

North Dakota, South Dakota and Hawaii are the only three states that do not officially acknowledge Juneteenth. Though North Dakota Sen. Tim Mathern, D-Fargo, has said he will propose a bill in the next legislative session that recognizes Juneteenth as a state holiday.

ADVERTISEMENT

What to read next
Leaders in the South Dakota's education association feel early learners will be challenged only to memorize information while older students won't be challenged.
Neither descriptions of the suspect nor information on how many suspects may have been involved was provided by authorities.
“Life sentences are reserved for the most heinous of crimes," said Deputy Attorney General Brent Kempema.
Members Only
“Lake Mitchell is an incredibly healthy catfish fishery. Net surveys show that catfish make up for 65% to 70% of the total fish population on the lake, and it's in a league of its own,” said tournament official Jaryd Guericke, who also competed in the event.