Making Juneteenth a National Holiday

As part of her push for racial justice, Sen. Smith worked with a bipartisan group of Senators, including Sens. Ed Markey (D-MA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and John Cornyn (R-TX) to enact legislation to make June 19, known as “Juneteenth,” an official Federal holiday. Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the United States and previously was not recognized by every state. Congress enacted Sen. Smith’s legislation, the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, in June 2021 to ensure the nation officially recognizes the historic importance of the day.