Louisiana lawmakers make Juneteenth a legal state holiday

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TULSA, OK – JUNE 19: A man displays a shirt celebrating the freedom of enslaved Black people during the Juneteenth celebration in the Greenwood District on June 19, 2020 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when a Union general read orders in Galveston, Texas stating all enslaved people in Texas were free according to federal law. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana has recognized Juneteenth, the day commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, as a legal state holiday.

The third Saturday in June will be celebrated as Juneteenth Day under a bill passed without any nay votes and signed by Gov. John Bel Edwards.

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The House voted 87-0 for the measure by Baton Rouge Democratic Rep. Larry Selders, while senators gave it final passage 37-0.

Juneteenth, which officially falls on June 19, honors the day in 1865 when enslaved Blacks in Texas were freed with the arrival of federal troops. Though slavery was not completely abolished until the 13th Amendment, which came six months later, Juneteenth has come to symbolize the end of slavery.

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