tv President Biden Signs Juneteenth Federal Holiday Bill CSPAN August 24, 2022 1:17pm-1:50pm EDT
19 years old coming in. and one of the statistics that i looked up, the age of 20 was the most that had died. it was over 30,020 year olds that had died in vietnam. so it just seemed kind of unreal to me that, you know only 20 years and they had to be on the wall. >> you can watch this interview, in its entirety, along with other oral histories at c-span dot org, slash history. >> on june 17th 2021, president biden signed the juneteenth national independence day acts, making it the 11th annual federal holiday and the first establish since the creation of martin luther king day in your day in 1983. juneteenth, celebrated on june 19th, commemorates the end of slavery in the united states. here is the white house commemoration and signing.
across this room, i see the advocates, the activists, the leaders who have been calling for the state for so long. including the one and only miss opal lee. [laughs] who just received a very special recognition from the president of the united states. and i see members of congress, members of the congressional black caucus, members of the united states senate who passed
this bill unanimously. and, all we'll of whom collectively were responsible for delivering this bill to the presidents task. i thank you all, we thank you all, the nation thanks you all. and, you know, when we established a national holiday, it makes an important statement. national holidays are something important, these are days when we, as a nation, have decided to stop and take stock. and, often to acknowledge our history. and so, as we establish juneteenth as our newest national holiday, let us be clear about what happened on june 19th.
1865. the day we call juneteenth. because, you say, that day was not the end of slavery in america. yes, on that day, the enslaved people of galveston, texas, when that they were free. but, in fact, two and a half years earlier the emancipation proclamation and it's slavery in the confederacy. think about that. for more than two years the enslaved people of texas were kept in servitude. for more than two years they were intentionally kept from their freedom. for more than two years, and then, on that summer day, 156 years ago, the enslaved people of texas learned the news. they learned that they were free. and they claimed their freedom. it was, indeed, an important day.
and still, let us also remember, that there was not the end of slavery in america. the truth is it would be six more months before the 13th amendment was ratified. before enslaved people in the south and the north were free. as we commemorate the history of juneteenth, as we did just weeks ago with the history of the tulsa race massacre. we must learn from our history, and we must teach our children our history. because it is part of our history, as a nation, it is part of american history. let me end by saying this, we are gathered here in a house built by enslaved people.
we are footsteps away from where president abraham lincoln signed the emancipation proclamation. and, we are here to witness the president joe biden establish juneteenth as a national holiday. we have come far, we have far to go, today is a day of celebration. it is not only a day of pride, it is also a day for us to reaffirm and rededicate ourselves to action. with that i say happy juneteenth, everybody, and with that i introduce the president of the united states, joe biden. [applause] >> thank you, thank, you thank you.
thank you, madam vice president, 156 years ago, 156 years, june 19th 1865,. major general of the union army rides to bubble galveston, texas to enforce the emancipation proclamation. and free the last and slaved americans in texas from bondage. today, as you all know, became known as juneteenth, our people some of what was said. the dara flex what that tells us for. the joy comes in the morning, june 10th marks both a long, hard night of slavery and subjugation, and a promise of
the morning to calm. this is a day of profound weight and profound power. a day in which you remember the moral stain, the terrible toll that slavery took on the country, and continues to take. what i have long called america's original san. at the same time, i also remember the extraordinary capacity to heal, and to help and emerge mirabel. i the painful moment and a better version of ourselves to make a better version of ourselves. today we concentrate juneteenth where it ought to be, one it must be, a national holiday. as the vice president noted, a holiday that will join the others of our national celebrations.
our independence, our labor who built this nation, our servicemen and women who died and its defense. in the first national holiday since the creation of martin luther king day nearly four decades ago. i'm grateful to the members of congress here today, in particular the congressional black caucus, who did so much to make this a possible. i am especially pleased that we showed the nation that when we come together as democrats and republicans, to commemorate this day, with an overwhelming bipartisan support. i hope this is the beginning of a change in the way we deal with one another. we are blessed, we are blessed to mark the day in the presence of miss opal lee. [applause] i had the honor of
meeting her in nevada a year ago. she told me she loved me and i believe that. [laughs] miss opal, your incredible. a daughter of texas, grandmother of the movement to make juneteenth a federal holiday. and, miss opal, is, you will not believe it she is 49 years old. or 94 years old, sorry. you are an incredible woman, you really are. as a child, growing up in texas, she and her family would celebrate juneteenth. and juneteenth, 1939, when she was 12 years old, a white mob torched her family home. with such hate never stopped her anymore than it stopped the vast majority of the u i am looking at from this podium.
over the course of decades, she has made it her mission to see that this day came. it was almost a singular mission, she walked four miles and miles, literally and figuratively, to bring attention to juneteenth, to make this day possible. i ask, once again, we all stand and give her a warm welcome. [applause] as they still say in the senate and i said for 36 years, excuse me a point of personal privilege. as i was walking down, i regret that my grandchildren are not
here because this is a really, really, really important moment in our history. by making juneteenth a federal holiday all americans can feel the power of the state, and learn from our history. and celebrate progress. and grapple with the distance we have come, and the distance we have to travel. i said a few weeks ago, marking the 100th anniversary of the tulsa race massacre, great nations do not ignore their most painful moments, great nations do not ignore their most painful moments. they do not ignore those moments in the past, they embrace them. great nations do not walk away. we come to terms with the mistakes we made, and remembering those moments, we begin to heal, and grow stronger. the truth is it is not simply
enough to commemorate juneteenth, after all, the emancipation of enslaved black americans did not mark the end of america's work to deliver the promise of equality. and then to continue to the to honor the true meaning of juneteenth, we have to continue towards that promise. we have not gotten there yet. the vice president and i, and our entire ministration, and all of you in this room are committed to doing just that. that is why we have launched an aggressive effort to combat racial discrimination in housing. to finally address equal fact that homes owned to the state by black american family is usually appraised at a lower rate for a similar home owned by white family in a similar area. that is why we are committed to increasing black homeownership. one of the biggest drivers of generational wealth. that is why we are making
possible for more black entrepreneurs to access capital, because their ideas good, they lack the capital. and to get their fair share federal contracts so that they can begin to build wealth. that is why we are working to give each and every child three and four years of age, not daycare, but school in a school. that is why we are unlocking an incredibly creative innovation and history of our historical black colleges and universities providing them with the resources and vested research centers and laboratories to help age bc you graduates prepare for good paying jobs in the mysteries of the future. folks, the promise of equality is not going to be fulfilled until we become real, until it becomes real in our schools and on our main streets and our
neighborhoods. our health care system, and ensuring that equity is at the heart of our fight against the pandemic. in the water that comes out of our faucets, in the air that come that we breathe in our communities. in our justice system, so that we have to fill the promise of america for all people, all very people. and it is not going to be fulfilled so long as the sacred right to vote remains under attack. [applause] we see this assault from restrictive laws, threats of intimidation, voter purges, and more. and assault that offensive area democracy, our very democracy. and we can't rest until the promise of a quality, it's filled every one of us. from every corner this mission. that to me is a meeting of
juneteenth. that is what is about. so let's make this very juneteenth tomorrow, the first that our nation will celebrate all together as one nation. a juneteenth of action on many fronts. one of those vaccinations. tomorrow, the vice present will be in atlanta on a bus bus to hear how you spread the word like all of you have been doing a lifesaving vaccines. and across the country this week, including here in washington, people will be canvassing into hosting events in their communities going door to door encouraging vaccinations. we have built equity into the heart of the vaccination program from day one. but we still have more work to do to close the racial gap and vaccination rates. the more we can do that, the more we can save lives. today also marks the sixth anniversary of the tragic death of the mother emmanuel church in charleston south carolina. keller, motivated by hate
intending to start a race war in south carolina. he joined his victims in a bible study class. then he took their lives in a house of worship. it is a reminder that our work to root out hate never ends. because hate only hides. inadvertently goes away, it hides. and when you breathe oxygen under that rock, it comes out. and that is what we must understand is that juneteenth represents not only the commemoration that ended slavery in america more than hundred 50 years ago, but the ongoing work that had to bring true equity and racial get justice to american society. which we can do we. in short, the state isn't just celebrate the past, it calls for action today. i wish all americans happy juneteenth. and i'm certainly in a moment
gonna signed into law making it a federal holiday. and i have to say to you, i have only been present for several months but i think that this will be down for me as one of the greatest honors i will have had as president. not because i, that you did it. democrats and republicans. but it is an enormous honor. thank you for what you have done, and by the way typical of most of us in congress and. senate i went down to the other end of the whole first to think the staff because i know who does the hard work. we [applause] they're the other, and i think them as well. may god bless you all, and may god protect our troops. thank you.
when congress returns from its recess and september, the january 6th committee plans to continue meeting the vaccine in the u.s. capitol attack. the senate will work on the defense programs bill, and more president biden's executive and judicial nominations. and, house and senate lawmakers will vote on government funding, that deadline to prevent a government shut down is so tender 30th. watch live coverage of the house in september, on c-span. the senate on c-span two, also on our free video app, c-span now. >> american history tv, saturdays on c-span two. exploring the people and events that tell the american story.
at 1:10 pm eastern, on the 150th anniversary of yellowstone national park, native wyoming resident bob richard talks about the history of the park, where he lead tours for nearly 40 years. and it to be i'm eastern, on the presidency, president dwight eisenhower's grandson david author of the book, going home to glory. a memoir of life with dwight d. eisenhower, 1961 to 1960. talks about his leadership in the military and as president of the forces that change him. exploring the american story, watch american history tv, saturdays on c-span two. and find a full schedule on your program guide, or watch online anytime at c-span.org, slash history. president awarded the medal of honor to four soldiers who fought in the vietnam war. this took place in the eastern room
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