With the stroke of his pen Thursday, President Joe Biden signed legislation giving millions of federal employees Friday off to celebrate Saturday’s new federal holiday, Juneteenth.
This makes 44 paid days off for the average federal employee annually, which is nearly nine full weeks of paid-time off each year.
Juneteenth is celebrated on June 19 to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States. The Civil War was America’s bloodiest war, with between 752,000 and 861,000 soldiers dying on the battlefield. 49 states have already recognized Juneteenth as a holiday (South Dakota is the only holdout), though only a handful give it as a paid holiday to state employees.
On Wednesday, the U.S. House passed the bill to make Juneteenth a federal holiday, after the U.S. Senate passed it the day before.