There was a vote on July 22, 2020 in the U.S. Senate to approve making Juneteenth a federal holiday.
It got 99 “YES” votes and one “NO” vote. That “NO” vote belongs to Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson, and it is holding up the movement to recognize Juneteenth. Sen. Johnson’s own state of Wisconsin has already made Juneteenth a state holiday. His lone “NO” vote is now holding up the momentum to make Juneteenth a unifying holiday for all Americans.
93 year old Opal Lee from Fort Worth, TX began a campaign in 2016 to walk to Washington, DC to ask that Juneteenth be recognized as a national day of observance like Flag Day. Lee has relaunched her campaign to bring awareness to the fact that this is more than a notion and that there is support for Juneteenth all across this nation.
Lee wants to talk to Senator Johnson.
More than 1.4 million Americans need an answer as to why he won’t work to help recognize this important day in American history. Lee believes Juneteenth can be a unifier because it recognizes that slaves didn’t free themselves and that they had help, from Quakers along the Underground Railroad, abolitionists both black and white like Frederick Douglass and William Lloyd Garrison, soldiers, and many others who gave their lives for the freedom of the enslaved.
Sign the petition to make Juneteenth a National Holiday in 2020,
go to www.change.org/p/united-states-congress-make-juneteenth-a-national-holiday-in-2020
Yes, Juneteenth originated in TX, but 46 states now have it as a state day of observance to commemorate the ending of slavery. There is legislation that Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson authored in 2012 to update US Code 36 that lists all the national observances to include Juneteenth, it only needs to be updated and passed into law.
More information on Opal Lee’s walk can be found at www.opalswalk2dc.com