The event was carried on cable news and broadcast networks.
The holiday commemorates African Americans’ freedom from slavery, and has long been observed in local and state celebrations. It was on June 19, 1865 that enslaved Black Americans in Galveston, TX, learned that they were free, and their first celebration turned into an annual event.
“Today we consecrate Juneteenth for what it ought to be, what it must be, a national holiday,” Biden said in the East Room of the White House.
At the ceremony, Biden called for passage of voting rights legislation, expected to come before the Senate next week, and also highlighted other parts of his agenda. As he has many times before, he also urged Americans to get vaccinated.
“We can’t rest until