(AP) — Hawaiʻi is the 49th state to officially recognize Juneteenth now that the governor has signed legislation designating June 19 as a day commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. Gov. David Ige signed the bill just hours before the U.S. House passed its own legislation designating the day a federal holiday. The U.S. Senate already passed the federal bill, which President Joe Biden is expected to sign. Hawaiʻi’s law recognizes Juneteenth but doesn’t make it a state holiday. Juneteenth commemorates the day when the last enslaved African Americans learned they were free.
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