BOISE, Idaho — Idaho senators Jim Risch and Mike Crapo are joining the bipartisan effort to make Juneteenth a federal holiday.
“Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of ending slavery in the United States,” Crapo and Risch said in a joint statement. “The period of slavery in America stained our nation’s promise of liberty and justice for all. Juneteenth celebrates an end to this shameful period, recognizes the contributions of Black American culture and marks a renewed commitment to ensuring the reality of equality and opportunity for all Americans.”
A coalition of 48 senators plans to introduce legislation. If passed, the federal government would observe the holiday in parity with Idaho's existing recognition.
Junteenth marks the day slaves in Texas learned of their freedom, two and a half years after Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.