Is the federal holiday of June 17 an effort by the left to usurp July 4?

Requirement: “This legislation is the culmination of decades of efforts by the left to prevent shameless celebrations of our national history, heritage and history.” – United States Representative Matt Rosendale, a Republican from Montana, on the new federal holiday in Juneteenth.

Although a bipartisan proposal by US Senator John Cornyn and US Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, both of Texas, to make Juneteenth a federal holiday was overwhelmingly passed by Congress and enacted by President Joe Biden Rosendale questioned the motivations of supporters.

PolitiFact Note: Pants on fire

Rosendale said in a June 16 tweet that the intention of the June National Independence Day Act is to “replace July 4”. His claim was later echoed on Fox News by Conservative commentator Tucker Carlson, who said the law would create “a new Independence Day, to supplant the old”.

The law did not create a new federal holiday until June 19 – the day Union soldiers arrived in Galveston in 1865 to establish their authority over Texas and declare slavery ended by the declaration of emancipation two and a half years earlier. All other federal holidays are left in place.


No, National Independence Day of June 15 does not replace July 4

Two days before the nation celebrated June 19, the bipartisan bill that recognized June 19 as a federal holiday won near unanimous passage in the House vote.

Among his dissidents was U.S. Representative Matt Rosendale, R-Montana, who joined 13 other Republican members in voting against the bill. After voting against, Rosendale explained his reasoning on Twitter:

“This legislation is the culmination of decades of efforts by the left to prevent shameless celebrations of our national history, heritage and history,” he said. “Their intention is to replace July 4th with this new day, which will inevitably focus on America’s darkest times. We are not perfect as a country, but we are a great nation, morally, economically, culturally and in many other ways. I will never support efforts to destroy this heritage and replace it with self-hatred. “

Hours later, the sentiment was echoed on Fox News by Tucker Carlson, who said on his June 16 broadcast that “from this Saturday our country will have another Independence Day, to supplant the ‘old’.

Carlson then shot US Senator John Cornyn for sponsoring the bill, calling Cornyn “a supposedly conservative senator from Texas” and claiming the bill contributes to “radical social change.”

The Juneteenth National Independence Day law was passed by Cornyn and US Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, a Democrat from Houston. But despite its Texan origins, the bill met with opposition from a number of Texas Republicans: U.S. Representative Ronny Jackson, R-Amarillo, said he did not support “more days off for federal employees ”. U.S. Representative Chip Roy, a Republican from Hays County, voted against the bill, arguing the name should be Juneteenth National Emancipation Day – not Juneteenth National Independence Day.


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“This name unnecessarily divides our nation on an issue that should instead bring us together by creating a separate Independence Day based on skin color,” Roy explained.

U.S. Representative Dan Crenshaw, R-Houston, did not vote.

Divisive arguments aside, does the bill that recognizes Juneteenth as a federal holiday “replace” or “supplant” the July 4th holiday, as Rosendale and Carlson claim?

A Fox News spokesperson did not respond to our questions asking for the rationale for Carlson’s statement.

The Rosendale spokesperson cited one example: a photo published by the Billings Gazette showing a black man wearing a shirt with “Juneteenth 1865” written under “July 4th” crossed out in red ink.

“Thanks for proving my point,” Rosendale said in a Tweeter highlight the photo.

Other picture shows the full text of the man’s shirt, which read: “Because my ancestors were not free in 1776.”

Writing for the Washington Examiner, Rosendale also pointed to a second example that he said proved his replacement theory. He said the Evanston, Illinois suburb of Chicago “canceled its July 4th parade and replaced it with a gay pride parade and the June parade.”

The official event website says directors of the Evanston Fourth of July Association voted to cancel the July 4th celebrations “due to public health concerns due to the unpredictability of the impact of the pandemic. , vaccination rates and in cooperation with our local authorities ”.

An administrator told a local news station the decision to cancel was made in March.

“We made the decision in March based on the information we had at the time,” administrator Jamie Black told Fox 6-TV. “There are deadlines for permits and for securing the fireworks, as well as for taking applications for the parade which takes place at the start of the year.”

Nowhere in the National Independence Day Act of June 15 does it mention the replacement of the federal holiday of July 4. The one-page law amends a section of Title 5 of the US Code by inserting “Juneteenth National Independence Day, June 19” after Memorial Day.

“The bill has nothing to do with the 4th of July federal holiday and does not deal with it in any way,” Cornyn spokesman Drew Brandewie said. “It only designates June 19 as“ Juneteenth National Independence Day, ”in addition to other existing federal holidays. In other words, it just adds a holiday; it does not supplant or eliminate an existing one at the same time.

In one TweeterCornyn also called the rationale for Rosendale’s opposition to the bill “bonkers.”

The US Senate passed the bill unanimously.

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