Juneteenth, which first began in Texas, is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.
But today's Juneteenth celebrations are especially notable.
This commemoration of June 19, 1865, the day when slaves in Texas got the official word that they were free. It's been a state holiday here since 1980. Now it's a national holiday.
Officially, it's now known as Juneteenth National Independence Day.
That name change happened when President Joe Biden, flanked by Vice President Kamala Harris and luminaries like 94-year-old Opal Lee, the Texan who had worked for decades to get to this point, signed a law on Thursday, June 17, 2021, making June 19 a federal holiday.
Long road to national recognition: Juneteenth is the first new federal holiday created by Congress since Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 1983. The day now has the same status as Dr. King's Day, as well as, among others, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Independence Day.
Naturally, this weekend's Saturday Shout Out goes to some of the coverage of this especially momentous Juneteenth 2021:
- The Historical Legacy of Juneteenth from The National Museum of African American History and Culture
- What is Juneteenth? from (and updated) History.com
- Pulitzer Prize-Winning Historian Annette Gordon-Reed Explores the Origin of an American Holiday from The Root
- Juneteenth, the U.S.' Second Independence Day, Is Now a Federal Holiday from Smithsonian Magazine
- Meet Opal Lee, the 94-year-old activist who marched for miles to make Juneteenth a federal holiday from the Washington Post
To all, like Ms. Lee, who have waited so long for official, national recognition of Juneteenth, here's to a special 2021 celebration.
Taxes and holidays: Of course, since this is a tax blog, I'm compelled to offer a tiny bit of tax information, too.
We're all familiar with the occasional convergence of legal holidays and tax due dates. On those days, the Internal Revenue Service generally advises that the applicable tax deadline is pushed to the next business day.
You can find more on such tax calendar occurrences in my October 2020 Don't Mess With Taxes post that's also getting a shout out today: Legal holidays and how they can affect federal taxes.
But since there's no such worry about Juneteenth and taxes, you can read it later. It's time to head out to your local June 19 celebration!
You also might find these items of interest:
- MLK Day: Make a difference in the world and possibly on your tax return
- Not yet independence, freedom or justice for all in America on this July 4th
- State tax ties to federal tax laws, from shared deadlines, income designations, deductions and more