June 19 declared a federal holiday in the U.S.

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U.S. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris signed a bill into law on Thursday to make June 19 a federal holiday commemorating the emancipation of enslaved Black Americans, as the White House pushes to address the country’s historical injustices.

The bill, which was passed overwhelmingly by the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday after clearing the Senate unanimously, marks the day in 1865 when a Union general informed a group of enslaved people in Texas that they had been made free two years earlier by President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation during the Civil War.

European colonists first forcibly brought enslaved Africans by ship to the British colonies that became the United States in the 1600s; millions of people were legally owned there until the 13th Amendment passed in 1865.