Youngkin and Kaine Speak on Juneteenth at Separate Events

Two Virginia governors gave Juneteenth speeches over the weekend: Governor Glenn Youngkin spoke at Fort Monroe on Sunday, and former governor, current U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) gave the keynote speech at a Loudoun NAACP Juneteenth event Monday. Both men highlighted the role of Virginia as the site where African slaves first arrived in 1619. Youngkin focused more on the contrast between those actions and the U.S.’ ideals, which the country is still striving for, while Kaine focused on the history of slavery and emancipation in America while referring to Governor Glenn Youngkin’s educational policy without directly naming the governor.

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Youngkin, Miyares, Sears Stop in Chester for Take Back Virginia Rally

CHESTER, Virginia – The GOP candidates for governor, attorney general, and lieutenant governor stopped in Chester on Saturday afternoon for a rally with about 350 attendees. In 90-degree heat Glenn Youngkin, Delegate Jason Miyares (R-Virginia Beach), and Winsome Sears spoke, mentioning Juneteenth, opposed Critical Race Theory in schools, and called for tough-on-crime policies.

“Virginians for the last eight years have been crushed. And I’ll say right here, right now, eight is enough,” Youngkin said.

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Senate Unanimously Passes Bill Making Juneteenth a Federal Holiday

Juneteenth Plaque

The Senate unanimously passed legislation Tuesday making Juneteenth a federal holiday.

Juneteenth, already celebrated in the majority of states on June 19, commemorates the official end of slavery in Confederate states on that day in 1865. Though President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on Jan. 1, 1863, hundreds of thousands of slaves did not learn of their freedom until after the end of the Civil War.

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Juneteenth Is Now a Legal Holiday in the State of Virginia

Governor Ralph Northam signed legislation this week passed during the General Assembly 2020 special session into law making Juneteenth an officially recognized holiday in the Commonwealth.

Juneteenth will now be a permanent, statewide holiday allowing all state employees to get a paid day off from work.

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Senate Advances Bipartisan Bill to Establish Commission on Civil Rights and Policing, Among Others

RICHMOND, Virginia – In the first fully in-person session of the week, the Senate advanced a bill that would establish a civil rights and policing commission on Wednesday.

The commission’s purpose is to review civil liberties, civil justice and policing in Virginia, and to make policy recommendations to the General Assembly.

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Wisconsin Republican Senator Moves to Drop Columbus Day as Federal Holiday

Republican Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) has cosponsored an amendment to replace Columbus Day with Juneteenth as a new federal holiday.

The measure was introduced Wednesday as an amendment to Sen. John Cornyn’s (R-TX) bill to declare Juneteenth a federal holiday. Johnson is co-sponsoring the amendment with Sen. James Lankford (R-OK).

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Target, Best Buy Declare Juneteenth Company Holiday, GOP Senator Moves to Make Federal Holiday

Both Target and Best Buy have announced plans to make Juneteenth a company-wide holiday, an idea that Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) wants to institute on the federal level.

“One of the most defining days in our nation’s history was when President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, finally freeing all slaves in Confederate territory. But slaves in Texas wouldn’t learn this life-altering news for two and a half years,” Cornyn said during a Senate floor speech Thursday.

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Trump Honors Request from Black Supporters, Reschedules Tulsa Campaign Rally to June 20

President Donald Trump said Friday that he is rescheduling his first campaign rally in months to a day later so it won’t conflict with the Juneteenth observance of the end of slavery in the United States.

Trump had scheduled the rally — his first since early March — for June 19 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Black leaders said it was offensive for Trump to pick that day and that place, a city that in 1921 was the site of a fiery and orchestrated white-on-black attack.

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