Texas was a bit late in formally freeing its slaves. Union General Gordon Granger and his troops enforced the Emancipation Proclamation on June 19, 1865.

New Juneteenth federal holiday agreed to just in time

This year, Juneteenth will be more than an informal or state or local holiday celebrating the day (June 19) that the Emancipation Proclamation was officially announced in Galveston, Texas — more than two years after the Proclamation was originally announced by President Abraham Lincoln.

S. 475 formally declares June 19 as Juneteenth National Independence Day by amending Section 6103(a) of title 5, United States Code, to insert “Juneteenth National Independence Day, June 19.” after Memorial Day in a list of officially recognized federal holidays.

The House of Representatives voted in favor, 214 to 208, on June 16. On the same day, the Senate voted in favor by unanimous consent.

President Biden signed the bill into law on June 17.

Federal facilities to be closed on June 18 but not the Long Beach VA Hospital

This comes from the Long Beach VA Hospital:

Updated Visitation Guidelines

In alignment with the state of California, VA Long Beach Healthcare System has moved to a more relaxed model with the exceptions of CLC and SCI. Screening will no longer be required, but mask must be worn at all times regardless of vaccination status. Access into the hospital will remain the same and include entry from building 166 from 7AM-3PM, Monday-Friday.

With the re-opening of many services throughout the community, we encourage you to seek care that may have been put off during the pandemic. Utilize VA Telehealth at home to meet with your care team virtually and securely or schedule a face-to-face appointment.

VA Outpatient Clinics to Remain Open on Friday, June 18

To recognize Juneteenth, the date marking the effective end of slavery in the United States more than two years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, President Joseph R. Biden signed a new holiday into law today.

The holiday commemorating the end of slavery is June 19, which falls on a Saturday this year, so it will be observed on a workday. In accordance, most federal agencies will be closed on Friday, June 18.

While some VA Long Beach Health Care System administrative offices will be closed, all outpatient clinics will remain operational on June 18 to ensure veterans have timely access to health care.

Veterans are strongly encouraged to keep their appointments.